An Economically Based Phenomenon of a Wavy Wall. There Are Solid Scientific Grounds Justifying the Limited Use of the Building Material

If you happen to have visited the British Isles, you might have noticed there a peculiar kind of walls that are not straight. The Brits build such structures for a very simple reason.

 

In fact, they might have started building such walls as early as in the 15th century

An Economically Based Phenomenon of a Wavy Wall. There Are Solid Scientific Grounds Justifying the Limited Use of the Building Material
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The brick manufacturing process was really tedious and time consuming in those times. That is why masons used as few bricks as they only could. And this is where the peculiar shape of these sinusoidal walls comes from. In this way the builders used much less of the precious construction material.

A shape that uses fewer bricks than a straight wall

A straight wall requires at least two layers of bricks to be stable. The wavy one, thanks to the alternate convex and concave curves need only one.

An Economically Based Phenomenon of a Wavy Wall. There Are Solid Scientific Grounds Justifying the Limited Use of the Building Material
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Looking at it, one might wonder how the designers managed to create a system calling for less brick and still ensuring sufficient stability. Moreover, the structure was far more stable even on soft ground.

It is the East England where such structures are most common

An Economically Based Phenomenon of a Wavy Wall. There Are Solid Scientific Grounds Justifying the Limited Use of the Building Material
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n 17th century there were several moors all over the area. Thanks to the Dutch engineers they were dried and this is where the sinusoidal walls began to be built. The Dutch called them ‘slangenmuur’ which means ‘the wall of a snake’. Originally the walls were built around orchards and gardens.

It soon turned out, however, that such walls have got some defensive properties, too

An Economically Based Phenomenon of a Wavy Wall. There Are Solid Scientific Grounds Justifying the Limited Use of the Building Material
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Due to the shape of the wall, it was harder for the attackers to get onto the top. It was also much more difficult to put up the ladders and the infantry had to break its ranks, making it an easier target for the defense. Americans copied the patterns but it never caught on there as much as it did in the United Kingdom.

The walls are also referred to as ‘Crinkle crankle walls’. Many of , due to their age and historical value, require renovation works

An Economically Based Phenomenon of a Wavy Wall. There Are Solid Scientific Grounds Justifying the Limited Use of the Building Material
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Have you ever seen a wall like this?

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