The craft of dry stone walling in Australia emerged in the mid-1800s in areas where a proliferation of stone in the geological landscape necessitated a clearing of the land. Built as the most economic form of fencing, specific historical associations can also be made with particular landowners as so often the style of wall also reflects the status of its builder.
However, it was really long before European settlement that this ancient craft made its imprint on the Australian landscape. Prior to European settlement, Australian Aboriginals used dry stone construction to build fish traps. And in the early days of Australia’s discovery the Dutch erected structures in dry stone on West Wallabi island off the coast of Western Australia and the French a garden wall at Recherché Bay in southern Tasmania.
There are many fine examples of dry stone structures constructed by Anglo Celtic, European, Chinese and we believe Indian immigrants. Each structure is historically and culturally significant in its own right and stands in the landscape today as testimony to a time when artisan skills indicated the patterns of early settlement. Listed below are some of Australia’s significant early dry stone structures of which we are aware. Links to more information about some of these sites can be found here.
- Aboriginal fish traps at Lake Condah Victoria
- Aboriginal fish traps at Brewarrina New South Wales
- Aboriginal fish traps at Oyster Harbour King George Sound, Western Australia
- Stoen circle beliieved to be of Aboriginal origin near Heywood Victoria
European discovery of Australia
- West Wallabi Island Western Australia
- Stone Garden wall Recherche Bay Tasmania
Chinese Structures near Daylesford
- Dry stone Housing, Yandolt, Victoria
- Dry stone Housing, Walhalla, Victoria
- Retaining Walls, Wlhalla Victoria
- Retaining wall, Great North Road New South Wales
- Post and wire walls, Melton, Victoria
- Dam Walls, Melton, Victoria
- Consumption Dyke, Camperdown and Rabbit Walls Camperdown
- Bessibelle sheep wash, Victoria
- Sheep wash, Melton, Victoria
- Deloraine Sheepfolds, Tasmania
- Ha Ha wall at Werribee Park Mansion
- Pig Pen, private property, Pombomeit, Victoria