Life...Fun and Kentucky Real Estate


Rock Fences Of Kentucky - Dry Stone Walls

Rock Fences of KentuckyKentucky rock fences, picture by Lizette Fitzpatrick  Central Kentucky is world famous for Thoroughbred horses and endless miles of rock fences (Dry stone walls).

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 dry stone walls built by Irish Immigrant stone masons still stand. 

These stone masons 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 dry stone walls originated with the Irish immigration to the Bluegrass!

Our Kentucky rock fences 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 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 FitzpatrickBuilding 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.

Just to note: The Bluegrass has the largest extent of quarried rock fences in the country. While some fences near the river are of field gathered rock, all of those in the Inner Bluegrass are built of quarried rock -- rock was not near the surface there.

Also, A great advantage to dry laid fences is that when accidentally hit, it is easy to remove the damaged section and re-lay it, unlike mortared fences where a whole section is damaged from one place.(Submitted by Carolyn Murray-Wooley, Director Dry Stone Conservancy)

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.

  Spears Mill by Lizette Fitzpatrick

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.




      Lizette Realty Lizette Fitzpatrick

Lizette FitzpatrickPrincipal Broker at Lizette Realty.

Publisher/Author for the only Central Kentucky email newsletter on local real estate listings and sold properties, Kentucky relocation, local events, homeowner information and fun!

For more information on Lizette, Kentucky Horse Farms, Lizette Realty, Madison County, Fayette County, Richmond or Lexington KY real estate click on

Copyright © 2010 By Lizette Fitzpatrick, All Rights Reserved.*Rock Fences Of Kentucky - Dry Stone Walls*





Comment balloon 6 commentsLizette Fitzpatrick • June 15 2010 10:46PM



What an amazing stone horse; I love the stone fences as well.

Posted by Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459, Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD! (Coldwell Banker) about 9 years ago

Good fences make good neighbors, and apparently great craftsmen (women) make fantastic fences.

Posted by Andrew J. Lenza (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 9 years ago

Lizette, when first read the first few lines of your post speaking about the rock fences the first thing I thought about was all the rock walls in Ireland...guess I didn't miss it by much now know that most of the Kentucky walls were built because of Irish craftsmanship.  Interesting post.  Your neighbor to the south of you.

Posted by Nick T Pappas, Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource (Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Huntsville AL) about 9 years ago

Tom - THe horse was made by a local artist when they were decorated and all over Lexington. I took pictures of quite a few of them.

Lenza - Quite right. Women can make some pretty good fences.

Nick - No wonder I like them so much. May be a few of my relatives worked on some of them.

Posted by Lizette Fitzpatrick, Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes (Lizette Realty - Richmond KY) about 9 years ago


That horse does not look quite as real as most of the Kentucky horses that you post.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 9 years ago

Sounds like the pace of life is beneficial for one's peace of mind.  Love the stone horse.

Posted by Cherise Selley, Colorado Springs Realtor (Selley Group Real Estate, LLC) about 9 years ago

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