The Convenanter Cemetery is nestled in a quiet residential neighborhood in Bloomington, Indiana. The two portals into the graveyard are simple wrought-iron gates, the only entryways through the stone walls, reminiscent of rural England and Scotland, that surround the tiny cemetery.
Many refer to the this type of wall as a “rock fence”, while others call it a “dry stone hedge” or “dry stone wall”, named for the building technique—so named because “dry” refers to the fact that no mortar is used in the construction of the wall. In Scotland, when these walls are used to mark property boundaries, the walls are referred to as “dykes”.
The walls are built in such a way that the integrity of their construction rests upon the way the stones are stacked in an interlocking design that strengthens the wall. This technique of wall building is common in areas of the country where rocky soils exist—New England, New York, Pennsylvania, the bluegrass region of Kentucky, and parts of Indiana. The Scot-Irish immigrants brought this dry stone construction technique with them when they migrated to the United States.
When we were in Ireland, we were taken by the workmanship found in the “dry stone walls” found everywhere…especially in the outlying countrysides….just collecting all the stones must have taken some time much less fitting them together so perfectly.