How to Build a Stone Wall


How to build a retaining wall

Adequate footings are required with a thickness of approximately 100mm to 150mm and the base approximately 1” wider than the wall, depending upon its final height.

Retaining Wall
The breeze block size is dependent upon the amount of soil being retained. Brick ties should be put in the retaining wall at regular intervals to tie in the facing stone and allowances should be made for drainage holes.

A good quality building sand and cement mix of 4-6:1 is recommended. The softer your building stone, the larger the ratio; if you have hard stone, you should look at using 4:1.

You should decide on the colour you require before starting as this will make a huge difference to the overall effect of your wall.  There are different colours of sand available which will dictate the colour of the pointing. You must ensure that you keep to the same ratio from start to finish or you will have an obvious patch on your wall which looks different from the rest.

Building your wall
There are several different finishes to a well built stone wall and it is important that you know which style you prefer to ensure you have a wall you are proud of. You must, however, make sure that no 2 joins are in a row and preferably lay the stone on its bed (laid the same way as it is formed in the quarry).
Each local authority has its own Building Control Regulations; ensure you are building in accordance with your Council’s legislation.

Building Styles for Stone Walls









Building Stone

















How to build a dry stone wall

Use your largest stones as the foundation.  Start building from the outsides in, so that the stones will almost be touching in the middle.  If they don’t meet in the middle, fill the space with smaller stones.

Always place the next layer of stones over the joins on the previous layer.  Depending on the height of your wall, at approximately half way (or possibly a third plus at two thirds if you have a tall wall) up the wall use a large enough stone which will reach over both sides to give the wall stability (only required on a double sided wall). These need to be placed around 1 metre apart along the length of the wall. Build the wall sloping inwards slightly so that it narrows as it is built higher.

Coping Stones
Once you have built the wall to its final height, cocks & hens should be placed along the top.  These are basically stone laid on their edge with alternate short pieces and tall pieces to create a traditionally finished dry stone wall.


Coping Stones

Here at Black Mountain Quarries, we can provide a range of coping stones to finish your wall. Flat coping like flagstones, can be cut from our Llandraw sandstone to your specific dimensions and finished accordingly. Also available in this style of coping is our Callow, York and Pennant stone.  Once and twice weathered coping can be provided in these 3 stones with either sawn or textured surfaces depending on your requirements.
Customers have previously used our lintels and cills as coping stones. They are available in 3 different colours and 3 sizes which vary slightly in thickness, but standard widths of 150mm and 300mm.
Alternatively, we have various colours of imported flagstones which come in 560mm widths and 5 different lengths available in project packs, or some are also available in single sizes. Generally these are 22mm thick with hand dressed edges.
Any other masonry work can be undertaken to your requirements – please contact the office for further details.

House Building

Each local authority has its own Building Control Regulations; ensure you are building in accordance with your Council’s legislation.
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