Sudbury, Derbyshire and a Crinkle Crankle Wall

This is the land of my birth. The place where I learnt to love wild flowers, appreciate walking in the beautiful countryside, and enjoy the architecture of the many fine properties in the area – this is Derbyshire – my roots.

Sudbury Hall

Sudbury is what is colloquially called an Estate Village, meaning that the whole village was built by the the Lords Vernon of Sudbury Hall for the worker’s on their estate. 

The Butcher’s shop shuttered up for Sunday

The local Public House – the Vernon Arms

Village shop

Village stocks 

I knew that in the village there was a Crinkle Crankle wall hidden away somewhere. I must have read about it and remembered that it was near to the village school. On arriving we made enquiries of a local who had neither heard of it or knew anything about it. Crinkle Crankle walls, also known as Serpentine walls, and ribbon walls are an uncommon feature, and I was keen to find it. We saw a road sign – School Road – so decided that would be a good place to start. On arrival at the school a caretaker emerged from the door, the schools were empty for the summer, and he asked what we wanted. I described what we were looking for, and he said he had noticed it for the first time recently. He showed us round to the back of the school where we had a quick look, before he let us out again, padlocking the gate as we departed. 

The wall is made of half circles. On this side it forms bays, a perfect place for growing new and rare vegetables for Sudbury Hall, one of the last Jacobean houses to be built in the country. This must have been part of their walled kitchen garden at some stage.

The next task was to see the other side of the wall. It now has private gardens backing onto it and is split up so impossible to see the whole curving line of the wall.

A cheeky knock at a door elicited a very kind lady who gained entry for us to one part of the rear side of the wall.

Sadly my best attempt

A better example showing the rear of a much smaller crinkle crankle wall in Norfolk

courtesy  of wikipedia



  1. How very interesting!
    It would be wonderful to see from the air.

    1. Not something I had considered but you are correct.

  2. The village stocks are so interesting! I’m surprised to see them so well preserved.

    1. There are quite a lot of village stocks around the country. We have a set in our nearest local village. They were of course subject to the perils of rotting and decay, but if made from green oak they had a better chance of surviving. Oak turns grey and tends to become hard like stone with age, and that is why it was used in Tudor timber framed houses.

      1. Thank you for the bit of information about oak turning hard like stone. I really didn’t know that. I come from the land of stucco, I’m afraid! 🙂

  3. Love the crinkle crankle walls!

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