Unusual crinkle-crankle wall damaged in storm – now villagers want it restored

The partially-collapsed crinkle-crankle wall at Great Waldingfield. Picture: CLARE KIELY

The partially-collapsed crinkle-crankle wall at Great Waldingfield. Picture: CLARE KIELY - Credit: Archant

Residents are calling for a rare historic wall in a Suffolk village to be restored after it partially collapsed following the recent storms.

The partially-collapsed crinkle-crankle wall at Great Waldingfield. Picture: CLARE KIELY

The partially-collapsed crinkle-crankle wall at Great Waldingfield. Picture: CLARE KIELY - Credit: Archant

The crinkle-crankle wall in Great Waldingfield is believed to be around 200 years old and one of only a handful in the county.

However following the recent bad weather they were dismayed to see two sections of the wall, which sits next to the B1115, had collapsed.

Despite its rarity the wall is not officially protected and does not form part of the Great Waldingfield Conservation Area, although Great Waldingfield Parish Council had begun work to have it listed.

Heritage officers from Babergh District Council have now been to out to assess the damage, although the wall is privately owned.

Babergh councillor Clive Arthey has backed villagers' calls for the historic wall to be restored and

Babergh councillor Clive Arthey has backed villagers' calls for the historic wall to be restored and protected. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Archant


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Resident Bernard Rushton said: "What makes this even more of a tragedy is that, although the process of listing the wall has begun, it has not yet been completed.

"Villagers are worried that this beautiful wall - which adjoins the conservation area and is such an important part of the iconic view over the fields from the church - will disappear.

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"The village is hoping the wall can be restored to its former glory and continue to be a historic landmark for future generations to enjoy."

Mr Rushton said the wall is all that is left of the garden belonging to Babergh Place, a mansion that was demolished in the 1840s.

Also known as serpentine or wavy walls, they were a particular feature in East Anglia and especially in Suffolk, but only around 50 are thought to remain, many of them listed.

Babergh district councillor Clive Arthey said: "I would like to see the wall repaired, as would many local people.

"It makes a huge contribution to the landscape and it is historic, it should be restored."

Bethany Philbedge of Suffolk Preservation Society said the society was disappointed the wall had been removed from a proposed extension to the conservation area boundary last year which would have provided protection, but was pleased it had since been put forward for listing with Historic England.

"In the meantime we would hope the wall is retained for its historic and aesthetic values as crinkle crankle, or serpentine, walls are attractive and historic Suffolk features.

"We hope measures are therefore put into place to ensure that no more damage occurs and that sympathetic repairs to restore and conserve the wall can be made."

A spokesperson for Babergh District Council said: "We are aware of damage to a serpentine wall at Ardley House in Great Waldingfield which is believed to have been caused by strong winds during recent storms.

"Our heritage officers will be making further assessments in coming days to decide on any next steps with the owner.

"In the meantime, Historic England have been asked to carry out their own separate assessment to see whether the wall could be listed."

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