Rocks Vs Blocks. What’s the story with retaining wall blocks

If you’ve been following us, it should come as no surprise that we specialise in rock walls! However we are fully aware of all the retaining options available and today we’d like to shed some light on modular retaining wall blocks.

What are retaining wall blocks?

The best known retaining ‘block’, or for that matter, the most widely known construction block is called the “Besser Block” or Besser Brick. It was named after the early 1900’s inventor, Jesse Besser, who created a concrete block making machine that ushered in a whole new approach to masonry construction. Fast forward to today and the term ‘Besser Block’ is a generic term for all types of cement blocks.

Grey Block | Masonry Building Blocks | Besser Block Retaining Wall
A Besser Block

These types of blocks are functional however they typically weren’t very aesthetically pleasing. Production methods have advanced and now there are a variety of finishes, styles and sizes.

In densely populated areas, where access is restricted, these stack blocks offer an option to retain soil and get a ‘similar’ look to natural rock without needing large machinery to place rocks.


What is a rock retaining wall?

From the pyramids at Giza to Machu Picchu, it is no coincidence that all of the longest lasting human structures are made from stone and rocks. Stone lasts forever, is natural, and is readily available in the environment. When it comes to outdoor landscaping, rocks or stone is often the most durable and low maintenance choice for surfaces.

A natural rock retaining wall

Here at Rock Walls Melbourne, we build beautiful cost effective retaining walls using stones that are quarried right here in Victoria.  There is no fabrication of any of the products and our walls are engineered to last. 

We might be biased but we believe modular retaining blocks are simply trying to emulate the beauty that natural stones offer. So if you have the 2 metre access requirement, then enjoy the beauty of a natural rock wall!


If you’d like to discuss your retaining wall, then contact us at Rock Walls Melbourne – we’re here to help.