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Delight as ‘unusual’ curvy wall saved from possible collapse

PUBLISHED: 11:13 17 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:13 17 October 2020

The historic 'crinkle-crankle' wall in Great Waldingfield has been given Grade II Listed Building status. Picture: BERNARD RUSHTON

The historic 'crinkle-crankle' wall in Great Waldingfield has been given Grade II Listed Building status. Picture: BERNARD RUSHTON

Archant

Villagers have spoken of their delight after Great Waldingfield’s much-loved “unusual” and “distinctive” crinkle-crankle curvy wall was given Listed Building status - paving the way for its restoration.

The historic 'crinkle-crankle' wall in Great Waldingfield has been given Grade II Listed Building status. Picture: BERNARD RUSHTONThe historic 'crinkle-crankle' wall in Great Waldingfield has been given Grade II Listed Building status. Picture: BERNARD RUSHTON

Residents were shocked when 200-year-old landmark in the village near Sudbury suffered a partial collapse in February - sparking fears for the future of the serpentine wall, which is deemed historically and architecturally important.

The parish council had already submitted an application for Listed Building status a few months earlier, supported by local councillors and the heritage department at Babergh District Council.

The district council had said: “Because of the rarity of its survival, its aesthetic interest and local distinctiveness, the wall is considered a non-designated heritage asset.”

Officers also believed the wall and the adjacent Ardley House “make a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the area”.

The historic 'crinkle-crankle' wall in Great Waldingfield has been given Grade II Listed Building status. Picture: BERNARD RUSHTONThe historic 'crinkle-crankle' wall in Great Waldingfield has been given Grade II Listed Building status. Picture: BERNARD RUSHTON

Now, Historic England have agreed, granting the wall Grade II Listed status “for its method of construction, exhibiting local distinctiveness in its form, materials and craftsmanship” and because it is “an unusual example of a crinkle-crankle wall found in an historic farmstead”.

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It also said the wall was “an indicator of the impacts of the nation’s changing economic history”.

It is now hoped the wall will be restored to its former glory and remain a historic landmark for many future generations to enjoy.

Resident Mike Kiely said: “This is such a beautiful wall and so important for our village - I’m so glad that it has now been protected by Historic England.”

Another resident, Linda Rushton, added: “Crinkle-crankle walls represent Suffolk to me, they should all be protected for future generations.”

The term “crinkle-crankle” refers to a variety of sinuously curving serpentine brick walling, most commonly associated with gardens.

Heritage England says the “undulating form provides structural rigidity without the need for buttresses or massed brickwork”.

This helped to reduce the cost of materials and was therefore popular in the period in which the Brick Tax was in effect, between 1784-1850.


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