Wavy Walls (Crinkum Crankum)

by cobbies69

Sunday 24th February 2013

A crinkle crankle wall, also known as a crinkum crankum, serpentine, ribbon or wavy wall, is an unusual type of garden wall.

The crinkle crankle wall economizes on bricks, despite its sinuous configuration, because it can be made just one brick thin. If a wall this thin were to be made in a straight line, without buttresses, it would easily topple over. The alternate convex and concave curves in the wall provide stability and help it to resist lateral forces

Wavy Walls, Church Lane, Lymington

Wavy Walls, Church Lane, Lymington 20-April-2009 map

The Wavy Walls of Lymington
Hanoverian soldiers constructed this wavy wall at the beginning of the 19th century, the soldiers were in exile from the Napoleon wars and lived in Church lane.
They built the wall in a style that was then common in Northern Germany, the wavy shape gives the wall extra strength and can be built with only a single brick width.
After this French prisoners of war were responsible for building many more wavy walls in Lymington and surrounding areas.

There are also wavy walls on the other side of the road, these were built by the author Dennis Wheatley who lived at Grove Place from 1945 to 1969. When he moved to his London flat in 1969 all items that he couldn’t house were auctioned, these included 1,000 bottles of spirits and wines (before he became an author he worked in his father’s wine business in Mayfair).

File:Crinkle-Crankle Wall in Bramfield - geograph.org.uk - 108876.jpg

Back in the late 60’s and 70’s my usual haunts and hangouts were in Lymington Hampshire in the UK  in the New Forest. Since I started this line for my posts, Fables and Tales and the unusual of the New Forest, my home area.I have found  it to be  quite strange as to how close I was, am to history and not taking a much if any notice of it at the time. These walls for examples, most are built in the county of Suffolk and only 25 elsewhere in the country, and here in Lymington there is two. And during these years of my life, I and a couple of friends spent much of our time in Lymington. I am very surprised with these walls, passing them regularly and not actually taking any notice of them.

We, that is my friends and I would often travel this road as a short cut to a friends house, and never once did either of realise the writer living here or even building a wall of his own.

Now with these stories, I am learning so much and am enjoying this journey once again. Taking me back to the times of my life that meant so much in more ways than just music, even though much can be related with music. I wonder if any of you experienced the same  thing, realising things from your past and what they really are or mean or just something special.

thank you87


A wall with serpentine curves for growing fruit, dating in Britain from the mid-18th century. Its curving lines gave added strength, thus avoiding the need for buttressing.

crinkle-crankle wall, Vann, Godalming, Surrey, England

thank you09       thank you87


14 Responses to “Wavy Walls (Crinkum Crankum)”

  1. What an intereting engineering feat thatwas discovered so long ago.I love that something once thought insignifigant becomes meaningful & important when the history comes into playand we apply it. .
    No only are the walls practical thet are so goregous in design too.

    Charming post, fascinating history.Your ancient forest makes my young state feel so very much like a baby.

  2. This is fascinating! i wonder what the maths of it comes out at? I mean, the percentage of extra bricks which go into a wall for the curves as opposed to the number for a double-strength one?
    I certainly never noticed that wall in Lymington, but then I have only had flying visits.
    I was an avid reader of Dennis Wheatley at one stage. I recall when we were engaged my wife and I read ‘The Haunting of Toby Jugg’ to one another out loud, from cover to cover, taking turns.

    • I was okay at maths but think I will give this a miss, it is in as said church street, opposite the main church in the high street..it would probably be one of those things that most people walk or drive past with no thought like I did many years ago..;)

  3. Your post made me think of working in Galveston, Texas last week. Much is tremendously changed, but there are still sections of the original city that are of tremendous historical significance.

    One thing, that nobody will ever see again, was a section of wharf that was removed in an the industrial facility where I was working. I saw the original wharf a few years ago, which was a conglomeration of old concrete piles, which were cast from a concrete that was made from sand, cement and shale. In measured sections, a cutout was still visible, where mule teams, with supplies, were led onto wood barges, the product unloaded, and then led off the barge at the other end.

    Due to salt water deterioration, the wharf was in bad condition, so the original sections were removed and replace with a modern design. History disappeared in a matter of months and lost forever.

  4. Reblogged this on Restawyle and commented:

    Come along and follow and enjoy the range of posts.

  5. The are very odd but lovely.

  6. Gerry, this is so interesting. And, yes, I know exactly what you mean about going back to a time and place in your life from years ago and realizing how important/significant something was — and feeling a little bad that I didn’t realize it’s significance at the time. It’s happened to me more than once, and I wonder how that thing (or that person) would have impacted my life if I had appreciated its significance when it was actually a part of my life.

    • Sandra I have recently with research realised how much I missed and walked by in my youthful and musical days, and all this now is enlightening me to some missed history..;) Thank you and honoured Sandra,,

  7. Amazing wavy walls. England has some fascinating history.


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