Central Kentucky's Legendary Rock Fences

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lizette Realty - Richmond KY 205403

Central Kentucky's Legendary Rock FencesKentucky rock fences, picture by Lizette Fitzpatrick  

Central Kentucky is world famous for Thoroughbred horses and endless miles of rock fences (Dry stone walls).

There are more rock fences here than any place in the USA. In Central Kentucky only 5 -10% of these 19th century rock fences built by Irish Immigrant stonemasons still stand. 

These stonemasons passed their craft on to black slaves that became masters of the craft of building rock walls. This is where the term,"slave walls" came about. Since I grew up here in the Bluegrass, this is what I had always thought they were. I had no idea that the walls originated with the Irish immigration to the Bluegrass!

Our walls are mostly built with local limestone that is plentiful in the fields. Once cleared and prepared for agriculture, the stone was easily used as border walls to pastures. All the stones are laid free-handed with no mortar. My examples of Central Kentucky's legendary rock fences below were photographed on Spears Mill Rd. in Bourbon County, Kentucky. These walls are where the bridge crosses Stoner Creek.

Paris ky rock fence, taken by Lizette Fitzpatrick 

Building these rock fences has almost become a lost art. Dry Stone Conservancy in Lexington, KY is dedicated to preserving dry-stone structures and training a new generation of artisans in their construction and maintenance.

Fayette and Scott counties have ordinances to prevent removal of rock fences in public rights-of-way. This has protected many from disappearing forever. When they get damaged in large sections from accidents it is difficult to restore them and many just fade away.


I drive by these everyday and I have to respect the time that went in to design and building them from materials from our beautiful land.

Spears Mill by Lizette Fitzpatrick

Every now and then you see the bumper sticker that says, "Growth Destroys Bluegrass Forever". It is true.

I always laugh and tell people that I live in the land where time stands still... but I do see it fading away stone by stone. Sad that we all want progress and conveniences. One day in the future all this will just be these few pictures I took on a sunny March day in 2008. A moment in time.

Kentucky ROCKS!

Come see it now.

  Spears Mill by Lizette Fitzpatrick




Lizette Realty Lizette Fitzpatrick

Lizette FitzpatrickPrincipal Broker at Lizette Realty.

#1 featured Kentucky Realtor on Activerain.com and Localism.com.

Publisher/Author for the only Central Kentucky email newsletter on local real estate listings and sold properties, Kentucky relocation, local events, homeowner information and fun!

For more information on Lizette, Kentucky Horse Farms, Lizette Realty, Madison County, Fayette County, Richmond or Lexington KY real estate 

click on Lizette.us.

See for yourself what Lizette's extraordinary clients have to say about their Kentucky Real Estate experience. Copyright © 2009 By Lizette Fitzpatrick, All Rights Reserved..*Central kentucky's Legendary Rock Fences*

Comments (9)

Joyce Heffner-Williams
Keller Williams Clients' Choice Realty - Monument, CO
Owner/Broker/EcoBroker - Monument Real Estate

Timeless and soulful!  Amazing to think about when those were made.
Have a glorious Easter weekend!

Mar 22, 2008 04:39 AM
Jim & Maria Hart
Brand Name Real Estate - Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC Real Estate
I just love the horse made out of all those stones.  And the walls are definitely works of art -- with all the time and sweat you know it took to make them.  I hope they are able to withstand the desire for "bigger & better".
Mar 22, 2008 05:57 AM
Lizette Fitzpatrick
Lizette Realty - Richmond KY - Lexington, KY
Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes

Troy - I guess things really did move kind of slow back then. Most roads were just carriage paths. The would have really been a cool picture.

Jim & Maria - I hope these works of art make it with the passage of time. The walls might be there but the horse statue won't be!

Mar 22, 2008 09:01 AM
Mary Strang
Viroqua, WI
Wonderful photos, and a beautiful State, I have an Aunt living in Lexington. I must plan another trip to visit her and take a tour to these beautiful stone walls!
Mar 22, 2008 01:51 PM
Ann Cummings
RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent

Hi Lizette - that horse made out of rocks is incredible!  I love stone walls, and we have them all over the place here.  We have laws on the books making it illegal to remove any stones from any rock/stone walls here in NH.  The stone walls in your pictures are beautiful - and it would be a shame to see that kind of work and beauty disappear one day.


Mar 22, 2008 10:06 PM
Christine Bohn
RE/MAX Professionals - Gainesville, FL
The Bohn Team, Gainesville FL
Beautiful Photos! 
Mar 23, 2008 12:47 PM
Erby Crofutt
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing (www.b4uclose.com) - Lexington, KY
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY
They are truly works of art.  I did an inspection a month or so ago for a gentleman whose company specializes in rebuilding rock walls after accidents and when they need to be move, like they did for expanding Paris Pike a few years ago.  He built a bunch of the new walls there.  It's an art form that's not quite lost yet.  People are working on retaining it.
Mar 24, 2008 01:10 AM
Frank Sauer
CENTURY 21 Garner Properties - Independence, KY

There is a section of KY 17 in northern Pendleton County that has several hundred feet of rock fence.  I'd always wondered about its' history and this post provided lots of good information.

May 15, 2008 05:43 AM
Mobile Austin Notary
Apostille/Authentication/Embassy Legalization, Notary Public, Loan Signing Agent & Process Server Services - Austin, TX

It's amazing what someones imagination can come up with. puppy

Feb 04, 2009 08:26 AM