one day at a time…
Monday, 09 February 2004

Pix Of The Day: The Longest Crinkle-Crankle Wall
CREDIT: © Ian Davey/SuffolkCAM.co.uk
WHERE: Easton, Suffolk, England. WHAT: distinctive wall-building class record.
MAP: Easton, Suffolk.Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.

Easton Crinkle-Crankle Wall © Ian DaveyWell built walls should not fall over, but sometimes the terrain that they stand upon increases the likelihood that this may happen. The familiar buttress is the most common way to overcome this risk, but another method is to build a wavy wall: these are known as crinkle-crankle walls.

Another benefit, said to favor this form of building, is that the brickwork absorbs heat from the sun, encouraging plant growth on the sheltered lee side, where the warmth is then radiated overnight. At Wroxall, in the English county of Warwickshire, there is a wall that is attributed to Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723), the architect of St. Paul's Cathedral in London. The semi circular Wroxall bays are an elaborate form of crinkle-crankle wall building that might seem to support the radiant heat claim. Two pictures from 'Bill' Burgoyne's web site clearly show both sides of the wall.

It is claimed that the world's longest crinkle-crankle wall is located at Easton in the English county of Suffolk. Webmaster Ian Davey from SuffolkCAM.co.uk went there to shoot an interesting photo-set, which provides the picture for today's feature. The wall is the most notable survivor of the Easton Hall estate: the English seat of the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton was demolished in the 1920s and shipped to America to be rebuilt on a ranch. So far we have been unable to track down the details of this event.

The other buildings in Easton perhaps fall into the architectural class of 'quaint', though in this context we do not use the term disparagingly. Happily, thus far, Easton seems to have avoided the fate of gentrification seen in some Cotswold villages, and in other sought after locations, which then deteriorates into theme-parkification and what is claimed to be tasteful commercial exploitation. Visit the SuffolkCAM.co.uk current page (content may change by the time you visit, but the 07 February 2004 item should by then be available in the archive pages) for a tour of this corner of Old England.

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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)