College brickwork students excel as master craftsman by building a traditional Crinkle-Crankle wall as a showpiece for the King’s Lynn college open day this Saturday 5th November.
Seven level 3 brickwork students built the decorative and complex wall as part of their diploma unit which requires them to set out and construct brickwork curved on plan. Ivor Auker, brickwork lecturer, said “The term crinkle-crankle wall reflects the form of a sinuously wavy wall also known as a ribbon or serpentine wall. This type of wall requires intricate and sometimes difficult setting out, involving convex and concave curves. The students have demonstrated knowledge, skills and ability a master bricklayer would be proud of.”
The term crinkle-crankle or (crinkum crankum) has its roots in old English meaning zigzag and dates back to 1598, although the term began to be applied to walls in the 18th century. Most surviving crinkle-crankle walls are found in the boggy parts of East Anglia attributed to the influence of Dutch engineers working on draining the fen country. The Dutch name is slange muur, a snaking wall. The wavy construction allows for a strong stable and even lengthy wall with fewer bricks because it doesn’t need piers or buttresses.
Brick walls are very common in British gardens, especially kitchen gardens, to create shelter and capture solar warmth; sources suggest crinkle-crankle walls were used in traditional orchards. As the alcoves would attract solar warmth whilst providing a cool flow of air around the fruit to ripen them more evenly and reduce insect damage.
Picture attached L-R (Daniel Spencer, Jack Cousins, Stuart Boyle, Jamie Walker, James Jary, Luke Jones and Philip McDowell)
Don’t forget the Isle Campus Wisbech Open Day 19 November 9:30am – 1pm.