Natural dry stone walls can be seen all over the Island of Lanzarote. In the countryside they create the natural boundaries between fields where the farmers are constantly clearing the ground for their crops. In the villages they line all the road sides and now in a lot of new constructions they are used for boundry walls to keep the traditional feel of the Island.
Dry stone walls on Lanzarote are made from the Islands natural lave rock that is quarried from a lava field between the Moñumento del Campesino (near San Bartolome) and Teguise (the Islands original capital). All lava extraction is strictly overseen by the local authorities as it is prohibited to remove volcanic lava from the countryside. The rock is removed using large excavators which extract pieces of rock of approximately 1 to 2 meters cubed. This stone is then delivered to the site in this form ready for splitting/cutting.
The splitting of the rock is done by hand. We use a diamond tipped blade in an angle grinder to cut small grooves in the stone in which we place steel wedges. These are then hit with a heavy club hammer a few times and the rock is split. The process is then repeated until the desired size of rock is reached. This is a time consuming process but gives the stone a good flat finish for us to work with.
This method of building stone walls is called “Piedra Cortada” (cut stone) and is the best quality of dry stone walling on the Island.
You can also build the dry stone walls by using the smaller stones directly from the quarry, this is slightly cheaper in the cost of labour but does not give a top quality finish.