Sunday, 25 June 2017

Another Memory.......

Following on from my last post and my memories of the cycle touring trip I made when I was fourteen years old....here is another memory from that same trip............

The penultimate night was spent in a town that I had always wanted to visit since I had first heard it's name...... It sounded mystical and spiritual....soft and beautiful.... that town was Saffron Walden  in the county of Essex..

Unfortunately the reality I found at that time did not match up to my expectations.....
I don't know exactly what I had expected to find but I think it had something to do with my serious interest in Buddhism even at that age..... Perhaps I had thoughts of 'Saffron Robes'.

Now don't get me wrong Saffron Walden was a nice town but it just wasn't the place of spiritual mystery I had wanted it to be....

So what is it like these days..... Well Anne and I took time out to pay it a visit and I must say that we both enjoyed our visit very much.....

This is what we found......

The Church of St Mary the Virgin...... This is the parish church of Saffron Walden and is the largest non-cathedral church in Essex. The overall length is 183ft with a spire of 193ft high which is the tallest in Essex... it really is a pretty impressive sight...


St Mary the Virgin - Saffron Walden
We visited Bridge End Gardens which is a real gem of a find and amazingly is free to visit...
The gardens are a group of linked ornamental gardens which are listed Grade 11 on the register of Parks and Gardens. 
There are a number of walled gardens and also a maze that Anne and I got totally lost in. 
I have to say that the gardens are pretty stunning - just take a look at the image of the Dutch gardens below.....also the gardens have the cleanest public toilets that I have ever seen..they were better than many hotels....


The Dutch Garden at Bridge End Gardens.
We visited the building at Myddylton Place that used to be the Youth Hostel  that I stayed at on my first visit to the town during that cycle tour all those years ago......

As with Houghton Mill it is no longer a Hostel having closed in 2011..... 
The property was acquired by the YHA in 1956 and was believed to be Saffron Waldens oldest inhabited property....
Timber framed and Grade 1 listed it covers some 6.000 sq ft....

It was often said that it was the most photographed buiding in Essex...
I don't know what the building is used for now...
The Youth Hostel (Now Closed Down) at Saffron Walden.
In the buiding across the road from the hostel at 'The Close', is a rare oval Spider Window.... Just another of the little secrets that Saffron Walden has that I didn't see on my first visit....
The 17th Century Spider Window
Back to Bridge End Gardens - A peek into the Rose Garden
So Saffron Walden might not have measured up to my expectations as a fourteen year old but it definately pushed all the right buttons all these years later.....


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