Traditional Stonewall Construction

Do you like working with your hands, have an eye for detail and an interest in traditional stone and construction work?  Do you enjoy physically demanding outdoor work? If so, have you considered a career in traditional stone wall construction?  This course offers participants the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills required to build a variety of traditional stone walls. They will gain an appreciation of the different types of stone and how to work and craft it to create functional and decorative stone walls.  It’s a hands-on course where participants learn the principles and techniques of stone working and dry stone wall construction using hand tools and locally sourced stone. They will build individual and group projects which include a range of wall styles, garden and architectural features, and community based projects. Core elements of the course include working safely, reading plans, setting out work areas, laying foundations, shaping and dressing stone, and building functional and decorative stone walls.


  • Induction – State the planned outcomes and conditions attached to the course; apply good safety, health and hygiene practices; state the basic principles involved in environmental issues; and explain the meaning of equal opportunities.
  • SafePass – To work safely without being a danger to yourself or others and make a positive contribution to the prevention of accidents and the avoidance of health hazards while working on construction sites.
  • Workplace Safety (4N1124) – Work safely, systematically and efficiently in the performance of activities related to health and safety awareness, personal awareness, environmental awareness, housekeeping, documentation, hazard awareness, fire safety, manual handling, VDUs and workstations, and workplace signage. 
  •  Safety and Manual Handling – Follow correct personal and construction site safety procedures and use correct manual handling techniques.
  • Career Planning and Work Experience – Plan and achieve realistic work goals.
  • Traditional Stonewall Construction (4N3131) – Identify and state the characteristics of the main types of stone used in traditional stone walls. Select, cut and dress the stone to specification. Organise site, set up profiles for the excavation and building of stone wall foundations.  Describe stone wall construction principles. Use correct principles to build a range of stone wall styles to given specifications. Complete field studies of traditional stone wall features.
  • Work Practice in Traditional Stonewall Construction (4N1170) – Work independently, while under general supervision, in a specific vocational context related to traditional stone wall construction and perform the tasks outlined in the Workplace Competency Schedule.


This is a practice based course.  It offers a rich learning experience by combining periods of instructor led tuition with periods of supervised work practice that gives participants the time to acquire and perfect the variety and standard of skills required by industry.  The training methods include instructions, presentations, demonstrations, supervised practice, simulated work environment, and giving and receiving feedback.  Participants are required to actively participate in the learning process. They must complete a number of practical exercises and assignments throughout the course. A number of methods are used to assess the participants’ progress and for certification purposes. These include assignments, theory exams, practical exams, skills demonstrations, and a portfolio of their work.

  • Reached the statutory school leaving age.
  • Demonstrate evidence of an interest in traditional stonewall construction.
  • Appreciation of the stone build environment.
  • FETAC Level 3 Major Award or equivalent.
  • Good numerical and verbal and written English language skills.
  • Ability to work at heights.
  • Willingness to work outdoors.
  • Reasonable level of physical fitness.

The beauty, enduring quality and versatility of dry stone walls has ensured that this craft is still relevant and can respond to present day needs.  A growing awareness among building professionals and the public of the potential of dry stone wall construction in modern building has helped increase the demand for this craft.  Past graduates of this course work on construction, landscaping and conservation projects.