Dry Stack Stone Fireplaces...
Centuries in the Making!

Dry stack stone construction techniques are believed to have been utilized in various parts of the world since at least 4,000 B.C.    More  "recently," many of the dry stone walls that exist today in Scotland can be dated to the 14th century or earlier when they were built to divide fields and retain livestock.

dry stack stone

Above: Dry Stone Recess for Storing Firewood
by Terrigenous Landscape Architecture




dry stack stone

The  skill  and craftsmanship employed in this construction method  has  been perfected  over  the  centuries, result-
ing  in  many  outstanding examples of the stone worker's art.     By the 15th century  A.D.,  the  Inca of Peru made use of steep slopes  that  were  other-
wise  unusable  by  erecting dry stone walls to create terraces,  as well as to build freestanding walls.    Their ashlar type construction utilized  the  classic Inca architectural style of polished dry stone walls of regular shape.    The In-
cas were masters of this technique, in which blocks of stone  are  cut  to  fit together tightly without mortar.  Many junctions are so perfect that not even a knife fits between the stones!

See Photo of Extraordinary Inca Dry Stack Stone Work!

In the United States, dry stone walls are common in areas with rocky soils, such as New England, New York, New Jersey,  and Pennsylvania.    On the west coast, they are common in the Napa Valley of north central California. They  are  also  a  notable characteristic of the bluegrass region of central Kentucky,  where they are usually referred to as rock fences.    This tech-
nique  of  construction was brought to America primarily by Scots-Irish im-
migrants,  and  has  been mastered by present-day stone artisans such as Lew French -- who created the superb dry stacked stone wall pictured be-
low, left. The picturesque outdoor bread oven below, right, was crafted by Champlain Valley Landscaping.

dry stack stone
dry stack stone

See Extraordinary Fireplace Designs by Lew French!


The romantic "ruins" shown below  --  complete with stone arch  --  were created by Vogelman West Associates.

dry stack stone


To build a stone fireplace employing the dry stack method, the stones are stacked horizontally and rely on the weight of the stones and  friction  be-
tween  each  stone  for strength and architectural integrity.    Technically "mortarless,"  the stones used to build a stacked stone fireplace -- though assembled  tightly together -- sometimes allow for a very narrow mortared bed joint that is raked back deeply into the stone work  so  the  mortar  is undetectable.   As shown in the following photos, this method of construc-
tion can be used to create a wide and varied range of differing looks.   The striking  --  albeit  cozy  --  hearth pictured below,  left,  was designed for fashion  mogul  Ralph Lauren by Ewing Architects for Mr. Lauren's mountain ranch in Colorado.

dry stack stone
dry stack stone



The fireplace designs that follow are crafted from fieldstone. The fireplaces at top right and bottom
are in the Lake Placid Lodge.  Located in the Adir-
ondack Mountains of upstate  New York,  the  de-
signs are typical of those in the Adirondack Style.
Note  the  inglenook  in the massive stone hearth
pictured at bottom.

dry stack stone
dry stack stone




dry stack stone

Favorite Field Stone Fireplace Designs

More Adirondack Style Fireplace Designs


The two fireplaces that follow are crafted from river stones . . . commonly called river rock. The design pictured below, right, hints at the wide range of colors available.

dry stack stone
dry stack stone

More River Stone Fireplace Designs

More Colorful Stone Fireplace Designs


More Dry Stack Stone Fireplaces

Following is an unusual  --  albeit striking  --  design  from Poetry In Stone. The starkly contrasting stone sizes, colors and textures make for a remark-
able composition that is appropriate for both traditional  and  contemporary settings!

dry stack stone



dry stack stone

The outdoor stone fireplace design pictured  at  right  is  crafted from
huge boulders that  almost  appear
to be floating in air above the fire-
box opening.  The attractive stone outdoor fireplace that follows  was created by  members  of  the  Dry
Stone Wall Association of Canada.




dry stack stone






dry stack stone

Dry stack stone arch bridge pictured above created by members of the
Dry Stone Wall Association of Canada


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quently add new photos of dry stack stone fireplace designs to our site.












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