How are stone walls used around Portsmouth?

Cows at Glen Farm circa 1970

1. We are most familiar with the freestanding stone wall used for boundary marking and protecting crops or animals. They can be simple placed rocks (like a farmer’s wall) or more carefully constructed double sided walls.

2. Retaining walls hold back earth.  These have to be carefully constructed and need to have consideration for drainage of water.

Stone Bridges in the Glen

3. Bridging walls can be found down in the Glen.  They are built over small streams.

4.  Impoundment walls can be also found in the Glen.  They are designed to hold back water.  There were water powered mills at the Glen and there is a stonewall mill run area to direct the stream to the Sakonnet River.  The remains of a mill dam and the stone foundations of a mill are there as well and these are all “impoundment” type stone walls.

Remains of Dam in the Glen

5.  Foundation walls.  Most wooden buildings had stone foundations.