Dry masonry is a construction method in which buildings or their elements are constructed of stone without the use of binding mortar. The stability of dry masonry is ensured by having a supporting facade of stones that are carefully selected and fitted together. This is the most archaic of the masonry methods and due to its simplicity is still used in the world today. It is usually used for building walls, but entire buildings and bridges are known to have been built using this method.
The technique of dry masonry has been perfected since the Incas, the ancient inhabitants of Peru. They were the first builders who paid special attention to earthquake resistance of capital buildings, in particular, dry masonry walls of buildings. The peculiarity of the Inca architecture is very careful and dense adjustment of masonry blocks (often of irregular shape and of different sizes) to each other without use of mortars.
A notable example of ecological fencing in the dry masonry technique is the traditional fences built for centuries in rural Cornwall, a county in the south-west of England, to mark the boundaries of farmland. Their construction combines a dry masonry technique with earthworks. The result is a sturdy rampart of earth and stones. The Cornish method consists of building not the entire fence, but only its outer walls; the inner space between the stone walls is filled with earth. The outer side of the fence is made of stone, while the inner side is filled with earth. The biggest stones are put in the base of the wall and, as the fence is built, the size of the stones decreases. The upper edge is made of carefully selected square stones of the same size. The top of the wall is covered with strips of turf, which are studded with sticks to the soil layer for better rooting. Over time, the tops of such fences overgrow not only with grass, but also with flowering native flora, the seeds of which are carried by the wind.