Rock Fences in Kentucky

Masons from Ireland and Scotland came to Kentucky and built stone fences, buildings, and other structures in the 18th and 19th centuries. Many of these masons taught their slaves this trade before the Civil War.

After the war, the freed slaves taught the skill to other free African-American craftsmen.

Over the years many of the fences have disappeared to road construction and neglect. Pleasant Hill still has at least twenty-five miles of rock fences on Shaker property. These fences were needed to keep livestock separated to maintain the integrity. After time, farmers found different ways to keep the livestock in separate areas, and rock fences were no longer constructed.

If you drive on the back roads in Kentucky, keep your eyes open. You may see one of these beautiful fences.