The exact origins of dry stone walling are unclear, as this traditional building technique has been used by various cultures throughout history. However, some of the earliest known examples of dry stone walls can be found in Scotland and Ireland.
In Scotland, for example, the remains of dry stone structures dating back thousands of years have been found on the Orkney Islands. These structures, known as brochs, are circular stone towers that were likely used for defensive purposes.
In Ireland, there are many examples of dry stone walls that were built during the Bronze Age (around 2500-500 BCE). These walls were used to enclose fields and livestock, and many of them are still standing today.
Dry stone walls have also been used in other parts of the world, such as the Mediterranean region and the Middle East. The ancient city of Petra in Jordan, for example, features many impressive dry stone structures, including temples, tombs, and houses.
Yorkshire has a long history of dry stone walling, and there are many old and impressive examples of this traditional building technique throughout the region.
One of the oldest dry stone walls in Yorkshire is believed to be the Enclosure Wall at Ingleborough, which is located in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. This wall is thought to date back to the Neolithic period, around 4000-2000 BCE, and is one of the earliest known examples of dry stone walling in the UK.
Another historic dry stone wall in Yorkshire is the Ravenscar Wall, which is located on the coast near the town of Whitby. This wall is thought to have been built during the Roman period, around 2,000 years ago, and was likely used as a boundary marker or defensive structure.
Other notable dry stone walls in Yorkshire include the walls surrounding the historic city of York, the boundary walls of the Fountains Abbey estate, and the many miles of walls that criss-cross the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks.
It's important to note that the exact age of many dry stone walls in Yorkshire is difficult to determine, as they have been repaired, rebuilt, and extended over time. However, these walls are an important part of Yorkshire's cultural heritage, and they continue to be valued for their beauty, durability, and ecological significance.