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The Intangible Cultural Heritage
of Dry Stone Walling

Call for support for Ireland's application to UNESCO for
The Intangible Cultural Heritage of Dry Stone Walling.

We are calling out to everyone who has a passion for dry stone walling and Ireland's dry stone walls to tell us "What does dry stone walling mean to you?"



Most people are aware of the numerous ancient monuments and dry stone walls in the Irish landscape. “Intangible” cultural heritage also takes into account the distinctive Irish dry stone craft tradition, associated folk customs and the other cultural impacts of dry stone construction on our lives in Ireland.

We are currently working on our application to be listed by UNESCO in their File of European countries with a significant “Intangible” Cultural Heritage of Dry Stone Construction, as ratified in 2018 and we need your help to make a strong case.

This application to USESCO is being submitted by the DSWAI on behalf of the people of Ireland and so if our submission is to be successful then it is vital that we are supported by people like you who recognise the unique importance of Ireland’s heritage of dry stone construction within the Irish landscape and infrastructure and the continuing tradition of the craft of Irish dry stone construction.

Double lintle Skellig Michael.jpg

Support our application.

We are writing to ask you if you could spend a little time to compose a short personal note, letter, or other document to support our Irish application to UNESCO.
It does not have to very long and it can be a handwritten or typed, or if you prefer in the form of a short audio or video recording, or even a drawing.

Your note or letter does not have to be overly detailed.

It could describe your interest, or some reasons for your appreciation of the Irish dry stone heritage of walls, buildings or other constructions. Some suggested themes are given below:

  • What does the continuing practice of dry stone walling mean to you personally?

  • Do you find that the presence of dry stone walls evocative, distinctive, picturesque, reassuring or evidence of the historical demands of physical labour in Irish agriculture?


  • Do you appreciate the continuation of this basic craft in Ireland, over the last 5,000 years?

  • What do you think of Ireland joining the UNESCO File and what it might mean for the future practice of dry stone construction in Ireland?

We hope that Ireland’s continuing dry stone craft tradition (along with Luxembourg) will join Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland on the UNESCO File list.

Please keep in mind, that, if you are submitting an image or video, to also submit details of its ownership, listing things like:

  • who took the photograph, or made the video.


  • who owns the rights and the unconditional permission, so that they can be used and uploaded to the UNESCO File.

Other supporters:

If you know of any craft practitioners or others, involved with commissioning, recommending, or maintaining dry stone walls and other structures, who may like to join in contributing to Ireland’s submission for inclusion, then we would be delighted to hear from them.

We are also particularly keen to hear from children, young people and women involved in the dry stone craft who are full time, part time or perhaps on a family farm.
If you are a member of a group, or community organization which supports the craft in any way in Ireland, we would also be delighted to hear from you and any offers of written support that you may be able to provide.

UNESCO may add images and videos to their website and if so, they will need unconditional permission from you and anyone else who owns, or features in the images.

Please ensure that you are authorized to share any images, or media with the DSWAI.

Your submissions:

Your online Submissions can be sent to:


PLEASE SEND HARD COPY BY POST TO: The Dry Stone Wall Association of Ireland,
c/o Rose Cottage,
Templemore Road,
County Tipperary,
Mobile: +353872689419

Click here for more information about Ireland’s National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Also also feel free to like, comment, share photos and videos of dry stone walling online sharing what dry stone walling means to you.

Don't forget to use the social media hashtags:









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