Wednesday, 6 October 2010

It's Saffron Walden Today

This Autumn has been a time of delving deeper into our own County as Alan's medical problems in the Summer prevented us from having a holiday and this post continues that theme.

For the 400 years of the Roman era there was never more than a small settlement in what the later Saxon inhabitants called
"weala-denu" ("Valley of the Britons") and we now call Saffron Walden. By the writing of the Domesday Book in 1086, however there was an estate of about 120 households. There are now about 15,000 living in the town which is in easy reach of Cambridge and London.

We arrive in the market place
where a market has been held since the thirteenth century

The drinking fountain

Noting the library

The Georgian Townhall where the tourist information centre is now housed

Before taking a walk around the town we are going to have lunch in the department store (painted white to the right of this photo)

and watch the world go by

Taking random pictures as we walk around, this is
The Corner Cupboard

The Parish Church
The earliest features of the largest parish church in Essex date from 1250 but the majority of the church was built between 1470 and 1525. The size reflects the wealth of the town. The spire is
193 feet high.

The almshouses

An interesting window

The youth hostel is a grade I listed building and is one of the finest medieval buildings in the town. It was built as a combined shop, home and warehouse in the 1490's. We see the original door no longer in use so entry around the side

We will just wander around noting the different homes

Probably old merchant's homes

We can step through this alleyway in the middle of the street and enter a lovely park but we are not planning to walk around it

Until we reach this second hand book store
I promise you, I did not go in

and  finish our tour at the Cross Keys Hotel which is a 15th century timber framed former house and shop
Half way round we did visit the castle museum but will keep that for another post
We are now on our way back to the car park as we plan to have tea at Jamie Oliver's parents pub on the way home, the place where he grew up and learnt to cook


Bernideen said...

This buildings are fascinating!Expecially that one from the
1400's -wow amazing!

Needled Mom said...

What a charming little town. I really love the colorful homes there - very unlike what we are used to seeing in your photos. It is nice to rediscover places within easy reach of where you live.

Thank you for the opportunity to see Saffron Walden. It was a delight.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

What a lovely town and even though it's very old so well kept up. I enjoyed your trip so very much. Thank you again for your informative post and beautiful pictures. Nice you are getting out and around while the weather is still nice.

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

Fascinating post, I hope you do a very in depth one of your meal at Jamie's parent's place, looking so forward to that.

Vee said...

Interesting architecture that I feel as if I recognize, but do not, of course, except from photos...probably yours! And the colors are striking. Whyever didn't you go in to the second-hand bookstore? :D

Catsngrams said...

What beautiful photos. My ancestors are from England in that area and it is so wonderful to see it.. Thanks so much for sharing your trip.

cyclopseven said...

Thanks for the virtual walk. Wonderful and color pictures. Enjoyed every moment here.

Anonymous said...

What an interesting place to visit. Radio 7 has a play on at the moment about the Civil War and the disbanding model army going to Saffron Walden. It's lovely to have a picture of it in my head now. Thanks Barbara.

Unknown said...

Barbara, Again, thanks for posting. It is always like a delightful mini trip back to England. :) Please explain a grade 1 listed building.

talesfromagarden said...

Great photos as usual Barbara!Everywhere looks so clean and well cared for,I love the way the books are displayed outside the bookstore!Some of the timbered buildings remind me of Morlaix in France!
Hope you took photos of Jamies parents pub,I am a fan of his quick,no nonsense cooking style and I see he became a father for the fourth time recently too!

A Dagenham Girl said...

It must be at least 25 years since Nigel & I last visited Saffron Walden and it doesn't look, from your photos, that the place has changed at all!! I do remember there being a market in the village square... fabulous photos. Judith

Anonymous said...

What a lovely town! And it is so, so clean! I don't know how you did it, I can't pass up a used book store. I would have gone in and looked for a George MacDonald original. :-)
Blessings and thanks for sharing,

Annie Jeffries said...

What a lovely town. Remove the cars and it's like walking through a storybook.

Pom Pom said...

How lovely, Barbara! I enjoyed every minute of your fascinating tour!

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

That was a delightful visit. I enjoyed the view looking down at the street from the window where you had lunch....and if I had been there, I could not have resisted a peek inside that bookshop!

La Petite Gallery said...

My Dear Barbara,
This was another learning trip.
I missed so much of England.
You know I am living vicariously through your wonderful posts.
It is raining in Maine we are getting gale force winds up
to 60mi hr.Our colorful Fall
leaves are blowing everywhere.

Winifred said...

Luckily Alan seems to be recovering. Hope you are keeping well and the tests are sorted.

Your photos are lovely. Wish I could persuade Eric to venture away for a couple of days. He just wants to stay at home for the moment so I'm using the time looking at cruises.

Glad you are getting out and about seeing more of the countryside even if you didn't get a proper holiday. You always choose such gorgeous places.