Saffron Walden (1), Essex, England
When the Doomsday Book was compiled in 1086 Saffron Walden consisted of about 120 households. It's a little larger now! The Saffron Crocus was being grown here in the late 1300s and by the early 1500s was the centre of the Saffron industry in this country.
High Street, looking south, seen from between Castle Street and Church Street. Although most of the buildings in High Street are Georgian the building on the left is obviously much older with some very ancient-looking timber showing on the corner.
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The Common is the oldest of the open spaces in Saffron Walden where local people had grazing rights and it was, at one time, also used for events such as tournaments.
On the eastern side of the Common is the largest turf labyrinth still surviving in Europe and the path winds for about a mile within a circle of 100 feet.
'End' is the Saxon word for 'Home' and Thomas Audley built himself a home in the early 17th century and Audley End is the result. The house is seen across the River Cam which flows through the grounds.
The house is now only a third of the size of the original and is in the ownership of English Heritage although the contents are owned by the current Lord Braybrooke.
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Wendens Ambo is a small village about two miles south-west of Saffron Walden.
The name of this hamlet originates from the joining of two smaller villages, Great Wenden and Little Wenden to form Wendens Ambo where Ambo means both Wendens. Habitation here dates back to Roman times. Audley End Railway Station is within the village and is the nearest station to Audley End House two miles away.
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