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Central Kentucky's Legendary Rock Fences

Central Kentucky's Legendary Rock FencesKentucky rock fences, picture by Lizette Fitzpatrick  

Central Kentucky is world famous for Thoroughbred horses and endless miles of rock fences (Dry stone walls).

There are more rock fences here than any place in the USA. In Central Kentucky only 5 -10% of these 19th century rock fences built by Irish Immigrant stonemasons still stand. 

These stonemasons passed their craft on to black slaves that became masters of the craft of building rock walls. This is where the term,"slave walls" came about.

Since I grew up here in the Bluegrass, this is what I had always thought they were. I had no idea that the walls originated with the Irish immigration to the Bluegrass!

Our walls are mostly built with local limestone that is plentiful in the fields. Once cleared and prepared for agriculture, the stone was easily used as border walls to pastures. 

All the stones are laid free-handed with no mortar. My examples of Central Kentucky's legendary rock fences below were photographed on Spears Mill Rd. in Bourbon County, Kentucky. These walls are where the bridge crosses Stoner Creek.

Paris ky rock fence, taken by Lizette Fitzpatrick 

Building these rock fences has almost become a lost art. Dry Stone Conservancy in Lexington, KY is dedicated to preserving dry-stone structures and training a new generation of artisans in their construction and maintenance.

Fayette and Scott counties have ordinances to prevent removal of rock fences in public rights-of-way.

This has protected many from disappearing forever. When they get damaged in large sections from accidents it is difficult to restore them and many just fade away.

 

I drive by these everyday and I have to respect the time that went in to design and building them from materials from our beautiful land.

Spears Mill by Lizette Fitzpatrick

Every now and then you see the bumper sticker that says, "Growth Destroys Bluegrass Forever". It is true.

I always laugh and tell people that I live in the land where time stands still... but I do see it fading away stone by stone. Sad that we all want progress and conveniences.

One day in the future all this will just be these few pictures I took on a sunny March day. A moment in time.

Kentucky ROCKS!

Come see it now.

  Spears Mill by Lizette Fitzpatrick

 

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Copyright 2011 by Lizette Fitzpatrick

*Central Kentucky's Legendary Rock Fences*

6 commentsLizette Fitzpatrick • April 13 2011 09:53PM
Central Kentucky's Legendary Rock Fences
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