Film, leaflet and walking tour planned about the Medieval history of Saffron Walden and its Battle Ditches

Walden Castle, Saffron Walden. Picture: PAUL BELLANY OF CREATIVE WALDEN

Walden Castle, Saffron Walden. Picture: PAUL BELLANY OF CREATIVE WALDEN - Credit: Paul Bellany of Creative Walden

Saffron Walden Heritage Development Group is working on a new leaflet, film and walking tour as part of its project about the town’s medieval history.

The leaflet, to be published before Christmas in partnership with local designer Fraser Parry, examines life in Saffron Walden during the medieval period, including the building of the castle and the development of the market and street plan. It aims to increase the public’s knowledge of the Battle Ditches and their role in Medieval Walden.

Creative Walden is producing a 10-minute film, featuring several sites of interest connected to the town’s medieval past.

It is due to be completed by the summer of 2021 and will be viewed on the Tourist Information Centre’s YouTube channel.

Four free ‘Medieval Walden’ walking tours of the town with Blue Badge Guide Sarah Kirkpatrick are being arranged for April and May 2021, with bookings being taken in March.

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The medieval earthwork known as the Battle Ditches is the surviving south west corner of a large, rectangular circuit enclosing the medieval town area.

Although now mostly buried, the course of the ditch has been traced around much of the town through archaeological excavations.

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Saffron Walden Heritage Development Group, formed in 2017, aims to bring together people interested in, and responsible for, areas of the town’s heritage in order to exchange information, undertake projects and to promote and market the area.

It includes representatives from the parish church, Saffron Walden Museum and the Museum Society, the Fry Art Gallery, Bridge End Garden, the Town Library Society, Saffron Walden Initiative, Historic England, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, the Tourist Information Centre, Saffron Walden Town Council and Uttlesford District Council.

The group installed two interpretation boards last January, at the Margaret Way and Abbey Lane ends of the battle ditches, thanks to a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Paul Bellany of Creative Walden said: “It’s incredible when you think about the rich culture under our feet.

“It is a pleasure to be part of a project that brings some of that fascinating history to life for our community, and for everyone who visits Saffron Walden.”

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