A unique serpentine walled garden in Headington
A crinkle crankle wall (sometimes known as a serpentine or ribbon wall) is one that zig-zags like a concertina. This not only provides extra strength (removing the need for buttressing), but also helps trap the rays of the sun, assisting fruit growing. The eighteenth-century walled garden on the site of Ruskin College in Old Headington has a crinkle crankle wall on its north side (below, from the outside). It is unusual, as it is composed of straight sections rather than the usual more serpentine form.
The inside of Ruskin’s crinkle crankle wall (below) faces south, and is lined with red bricks to provide extra warmth for fruit. There are stone quoins at the angles.
The three straight walls of the garden are made of stone, with coursed squared blocks inside, and coursed rubble outside. The Ruskin crinkle crankle wall is a Grade II listed structure ( jointly with the Dunstan Road wall: 1485/47A ).