Drystone retaining walls: Design, construction and assessment

Paul F. McCombie, Jean Claude Morel, Denis Garnier

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Take a Detailed Look at the Practice of Drystone Retaining Wall Construction Drystone retaining walls make very efficient use of local materials, and sit comfortably in their environment. They make an important contribution to heritage and to the character of the landscape, and are loved by many people who value the skill and ingenuity that has gone into their construction, as well as simply how they look. And yet, in engineering terms, they are complex. They can deform significantly as their loading changes and their constituent stones weather. This gives them ductility-they deal with changes by adapting to them. In some ways, they behave like conventional concrete retaining walls, but in many ways they are better. They cannot be designed or assessed correctly unless these differences are understood. Implementing concepts that require no prior knowledge of civil engineering, the authors: •Explain the behavior of earth retaining structures •Provide a theoretical framework for modeling the mechanical stability of a drystone retaining wall •Outline reliable rules for constructing a drystone retaining wall •Include charts to support the preliminary sizing of drystone retaining walls •Examine the relevance of drystone in terms of sustainability •Describe more advanced methods of analysis Drystone Retaining Walls: Design, Construction and Assessment draws on theoretical work and full-scale practical testing to explain how these structures work, without presuming that the reader has received an engineering education. The book goes on to give enough detail to give the professional engineer confidence in the methods used in design and assessment, and insight into what matters most in the way in which drystone retaining walls are built. It shows how to design new or replacement drystone retaining walls that are efficient, sustainable, attractive, and in keeping with the character of the area where they are built, and demonstrates how to make fair assessments of existing walls.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFlorida
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages163
ISBN (Electronic)9781482250893
ISBN (Print)9781482250886
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameApplied Geotechnics
PublisherCRC Press Taylor and Francis Group

Bibliographical note

The full text is not available on the repository.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Drystone retaining walls: Design, construction and assessment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this