New England Stone Walls

What I love most about Connecticut are the wonderful old stone walls! This scenery is unique to New England and makes traveling around this area an absolute pleasure! One of the most beautiful landscapes that I see often is an old New England Colonial home with ancient stone walls around some of the property.


Origins of New England Ancient Stone Walls

By 1840 there were 2.5 million sheep in Vermont and New Hampshire. Farmers had to obtain more forests around them to keep the growing number of sheep fed. As landowners cut deeper into the forests, they found themselves faced with endless piles of rock.

Constructing long and tall walls from these stones solved defining property lines and helping to control their livestock. Moving rocks and boulders was physically demanding labor, with stones typically placed by hand by the individual farmers and landowners. It is estimated that in the mid-1800s there were over 240,000 miles of stone walls in New England.

As farmers cleared those New England forests, they found many, many rocks so they were used to define property lines on farms. At the end of the last Ice Age, glaciers left behind millions of stones in a variety of sizes. The soil in New England still remains very stony today.


Experts estimate there are more than 100,000 miles of old, disused stone walls out there, or enough to circle the globe four times. [1]


Recommended website on stone walls:

[1] https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/new-england-stone-walls

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