Crinkle Crankum. [Wavy Walls]

Saturday 28th March 2015

By Gerry A/C

Sunday 24th February 2013 first appeared on Legendary Post where I am, or was a guest poster, I haven’t posted for a long while. I have included the link for this site hosted by James..  I did find this post through my Evernote program.


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

crinkle-crankle, crinkum-crankum. Garden-wall, usually aligned east–west so that one side faces south, on a plan of elongated S-shaped curves joined in a continuous ribbon or serpentine form that stiffens the wall, enabling it to be less thick than a straight wall would have to be for stability, and removing the need for any buttresses.

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 – 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 - - 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.



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   For a few more pictures.


Gerry A/C 2015


24 thoughts on “Crinkle Crankum. [Wavy Walls]

  1. This is VERY interesting. I know you’ve shown photos of the wavy walls in a previous post, but I’m really intrigued about their strength as you’ve mentioned here. Makes me want to build one!

    1. Yes I did a post for Legends a couple of years ago,, and they are quite intriguing I must admit, especially seen for real .. impressive.. welcome and thank you always…

    1. I couldn’t actually find anything regards to building them apart from what you have said… glad you thought it was interesting…..welcome always

    1. Thank you Jo, they are a little unique if I say so myself. Unusual enough for me to post about them,, I am lucky enough to live near some of the ones left… welcome always..

  2. I have been inspired. I’ve seen your earlier posts of the wavy walls but love that middle one up above and the last. I may have to build one of my own, perhaps a shorter version for a garden wall. 😉

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