Friday, 29 January 2010

A DAY IN SAFFRON WALDEN ..........

The other day, I went to a town about 40 minutes away from me, called Saffron Walden.
When the Doomsday Book was compiled in 1086, Saffron Walden consisted of 120 households. It's a little larger now !
The Saffron crocus was being grown here in the late 1300's and by the early 1500's was the centre of the saffron industry in this country. Saffron was in great demand for the woollen industry and brought wealth to the town.









This is part of the market square. The town market is said to be one of the earliest markets, starting around 1141 and the town grew up around it.

Malt was another commodity which Saffron Walden successfully traded in the 1870's. Conical shaped roofs of the malting's dominated the skyline and there were once as many as 15 pubs in the town of which only a few remain today, the above pub, The King's Arms, being one of them.
The Sun Inn.
Pargeting is the ornamentation of plastered and rendered building facades that would otherwise be smooth. The term was once also used to include internal decoration.
Pargeting ranges from simple geometric surface patterning to exuberant sculptural relief of figures, flowers and sea monsters. English plasterwork became increasingly elaborate in the 16 century and there are some lovely examples in Saffron Walden. The Sun Inn being one of the most elaborate.
The original raw material is called Parge.......... a mixture of sand and lime with a binder like hair. Many additional ingredients are recorded including urine, loam, soot, tallow, road scrapings, cheese, dung, blood and salt !! YUK !!
It's a bit of a worry of how and where they got some of those ingredients from !!!!




A quaint old English town with a great deal of history.... and, I've only just scratched the surface of the history of Saffron Walden.
Jackie














79 comments:

  1. The history there is so amazing! That was so long ago. I love the house in the first photo. I'd like to move right in! The plaster releif is really beautiful but really grose too! Have a wonderful time celebrating early. And in case I don't get to it on Monday...Happy Birthday Jacqueline! Jennifer:)

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  2. You can take me for a journey any day, any week Jackie. I had never heard of "Pargeting", and how incredibly fascinating (& weird) is the process. Ultimately turns out so beautiful. If I took a photographic journey down our way, you'd laugh!! I could photograph a lot of barns though & they do have their own character I suppose?! Wishing you & Mr. H a wonderful weekend xx deb

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  3. Dear Jackie,
    it is a beautiful place!I just love those houses...thank you for showing me such a fantastic town and giving us a history...Lovely post!
    lots of love
    magdalena/color sepia

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  4. Oh...SO pretty! LOVE the architecture...SO lovely! Thanks for the tour! ;) Happy weekend!

    Smiles,
    Rachel

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  5. I love this so much, Jacqueline! :-) Thank you for sharing this beautiful place. :-) You made me smile and sigh happily.

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  6. Jackie - my heart is YEARNING to go back to England. And explore. To this American, there is so much romance in the old architecture, cobblestone streets and city squares. I just love knowing that there is so much depth in the nooks and crannies of each brick and mortar!

    Fabulous shots - have a great weekend!

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  7. Hi Dearest Jacki!
    Always enjoy the lovely history lessons you share...and my mind is definitely reeling with thoughts of the buildings DNA!

    Glad to know your little package arrived, and most definitely save until your special day!

    Enjoy your weekend! We are off to celebrate McDreamy's birthday!

    Cheers to you and your wonderful self!
    ~Melissa

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  8. How divine! We had the most wonderful lunch and afternoon in SW a few years ago - I would so love to do this again. Your photos are fabulous - looking at them is nearly as good as being there. Thank you. Leigh

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  9. Oh jackie we could talk about this all day long it is an amazing process and one that is still very much alive today. I am fortunate to have worked with some of the top people in this field and do have some working knowledge of it all. But it really is a master craftsmen field and some of the best around have been at the job all their lives.
    lovely post Jackie.
    Much love
    Lia
    xx

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  10. I would love to meet you at The King's Arms, Jackie.

    This is a perfect post in that I can find some little historical tidbit, some tiny reference, throw it into a conversation and look informed, dare I say(?) scintillating.

    Thank you for a magical journey. Perhaps one day I shall take you on a small trip to the town near ours where Anne de Bretagne lived.

    xoxox,
    Tish

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  11. Bonjour Jackie,
    Thank you for this history and beautiful photos. 'Pargeting' is so lovely (we won't think about the uh process) true craftsmanship. The first house is stunning. I have a wonderful picture in my mind about the interior and it is perfect for moi.
    I've been experimenting with plaster ornamentation inside my place - perhaps I'll calll it pargeting - then poeple will think I know what I'm doing - ha!
    After this tour I need to make plans to head to the UK and see this for myself - thank you so much for sharing.
    Bon birthday weekend my friend. I have a feeling you'll be celebrating right on through your big day on Monday!

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  12. What a nice and unusual journey for me,through your photos and the way you tell us this history!
    val

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  13. Jackie you are so lucky to live there.
    I thought Safferon was used to cook rice. Woolen Mill? For Color?
    As I scrolled down my feet started to do the happy dance. The first house took my breath away,wish I could stroll down those streets.
    Is that a drinking fountain in the square?
    The plaster work is gorgeous.
    THANK YOU FOR MAKING THIS FABULOUS POST

    yvonne

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  14. I've never heard of that town but then I'm sure I've never heard of many!!! Those ingredients did concern me....eee gads! but I guess they used what they had. How the heck has it lasted so long?
    The Sun Inn is probably my favorite with all that detail. What a contrast to the concrete jungle I'm about to go to:)))
    Thanks for the tour!!!
    xo,
    Carole

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  15. Such a wonderful and informative post! I have learned some new things, a little history and have loved looking at this charming village!
    I would love to stop in that pub someday and sit and share a glass with you! :) Laura

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  16. Oh Jac's I could look at these all day. I just adore English villages/towns and their history. I love the photo's and soooo want to have a wander around and pop into the pub for a long lunch....with you of course. Thanks honey.
    xoxo

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  17. OMG THANKS FOR SHARING THE HISTORY OF THIS LOVELY TOWN, I JUST THE BUILDINGS THEY LOOK SO WONDERFUL CONSIDERING HOW OLD THEY ARE. XO MARY

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  18. Very interesting post, thank you

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  19. Lovely post, Jackie! Pargeting sounds quite interesting (for lack of a better word) and oh so beautiful!! What a beautiful town...thank you for the tour.

    I believe you have a birthday coming up... Mine is Tuesday. Hope to have a heck of a celebration!

    xoxo
    Jane

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  20. Hello...I have not been to England yet in my travels - but I do plan on going before the put me in a pine box.LOL

    Cheers to you,

    Jo

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  21. this is terrific.
    i love history lessons like this one.
    xx's

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  22. Thank you Jackie for taking us on a fascinating journey.....I loved it!

    I hope you enjoy your birthday weekend! :) xxoo

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  23. Hi Jackie,
    Been away { at home } working on Chandeliers just like in your photos - now kicking myself for the few I didn't buy.

    Love all the gray, the peonies, the stuff around your home, and I would just love to say I live in or come from a place called Saffron Walden -

    See you soon -
    Marsha

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  24. Oh how I love to see pictures of little towns like this ~ they take me back to my visit to Ulster in 1988. The history behind everything ~ we think things are old here but you truly do not realize how "new" North America is until you go "across the pond". Lovely pictures Jackie!

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  25. Jacqueline,

    I had never heard of Saffron Walden, and the word parge is new to me. Great pictures and tour. You are full of surprises-thanks.

    Marjorie

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  26. Such a charming place!! Thanks for taking me along.

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  27. Jackie I am obsessed with anything British. I always have been. So this trip to Saffron Walden was such a treat for me. I cannot get over the beautiful structures that are all over your beautiful country. I love how the people respect all the dwellings and barns and cottages that have been built and are able to give them new life with out destroying them. So unlike here. It seems we tear things down, just to build something even uglier. I know walking down these streets would be wonderful. Looking at all the beauty that has stood for centuries. Thank you so much for this trip to such a lovely place. Did you say DUNG?!
    hugs

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  28. i wouldnt mind going to the kings arms for a pint!
    ~laura

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  29. Wow, Jackie!!!
    Saffron Walden looks like a town I would love to spend some time in... Thank you for giving me a bit sightseeing in this beautiful place with amazing architecture.

    Wish you a wonderful weekend, my friend!

    Love/
    Luiza

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  30. Hi Jackie,

    Your photo's show exactly why I want to go to England every other year! What a beautiful town. The house on the first picture is my dream cottage. I can already see myself decorating it and sitting in my rose garden drinking tea ;-). Meanwhile we have snow again in Holland and spring seems far away....but.....it all looks very pretty outside!! Have a happy saturday!!!

    Lieve groet, Madelief

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  31. Dear Jackie, what a beautiful town. I love England. I travel in spring to London, and I´m so glad about it!!!
    Have a wonderful weekend,
    Yvonne

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  32. Hey Jacqueline
    Wonderful photos!! What a fabulous town!! Wish we had that sort of history around here, Of course that would be impossible as we are only just over 2oo years old!! me included!.. Well these photos are just delightful, one after the other.. the first being an absolute fairytale house...right down to the iron work on the gate!!! I love it!!

    Now the pub is a bit dubious.. love the facade but not sure about the ingredients.. haha.. parge you say!! hmm.... great way to get rid of an unwanted body... Well thanks for your splendid little tour peppered with just the right amount of history!! xxx Julie

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  33. Dear Jackie - thank you so much for your thoughtful comments & for the tour of S.W - have never been there but now it's on my 'to do' list - I'm determined to not sink into complacency and think 'oh, there's always next week/month/year' - my LAB isn't at all familiar with the UK so that's also a good reason to cover as much ground as possible! Hope you have a wonderful weekend and Happy, happy birthday celebrations! Looking forward to hearing all about it! Susie x

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  34. Fabulous photos! These must have been the inspiration for a number of my Mudlen Cottages which I collected while visiting the UK.

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  35. What a picturesque village. Delightful tour. Thanks.

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  36. Thank you for the ride into Saffron Walden, Jackie!!!! What a lovely little town, and soooo old. We in Chile don´t have a very old history or architecture, and just this year we are celebrating our 200th anniversay... and there´s almost few old buildings left due to many and abundant earthquakes!!!!
    Thank you so much for your lovely comment... I´ll visit you again in March.
    Muchos cariños,
    Maria Cecilia

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  37. How charming ... I so want to visit all those sweet towns one day. My daughter just got accepted into Capernwray in Carnforth Lancashire...do you know that little town? She heads there in September...we are so excited and now I will have the opportunity to visit your lovely Country! Happy weekend.

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  38. Dear Jackie,

    Oh I can feel the spirits there! SO old, looks so cold but feels so warm!! I was just sitting with my husband and talking about old places and echos that are still alive in special places. I know there is so more for you to find here. Amazingly Beautiful!! Thank you for sharing Saffron Walden!!
    XOXO's

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  39. Oh how I envy you and your proximity to some of the most wonderful history in the world. I absolutely adore everything about England and English history. Another place to add to the visiting list. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

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  40. Such a beautiful town. That is one of the things that I love about Europe. The architecture. Here in the states it is very hard to find towns like that. Such an interesting history too. Thanks for sharing!

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  41. Oh Jackie ... what a quaint little village ... so very English.
    We (Mr N and moi) need to get out more into the countryside and explore these gorgeous villages!
    Thank you so much for sharing and I hope you have (or are having) the most wonderful birthday weekend!
    Speak on Monday.
    xx

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  42. Just beautiful! Thanks for the tour.

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  43. Gosh J, we all have another life babe but you take the cake ... was just over at Debs.

    Just wanted to wish you a really fab birthday, have one ...or four for me .... cheers!
    xoxo Deej

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  44. Stunning architecture. I adore all those divine roof lines. xx

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  45. fabulous post but i am in shock over deb's post... cannot believe what you went thru... i always loved steve (in my dreams) and 2 years ago dated someone who looks alot like him... he had a few issues like him... extreme reclusive behavior and i am completely opposite.. i like my quiet time but... you are such a darling woman and i am so happy you are where you need to be... many blessings to you... xx pam

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  46. and.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my very sweet blogging friend... hope to come over for a visit someday... would love that. xx pam

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  47. Great tour Jackie...such a quaint place. Happy Birthday for Monday, I hope you are having a wonderful weekend and the celebration continues...xv

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  48. Thanks for taking on such a great tour from the comfort of our own homes :-) Wishing you a very happy birthday, hope that 2010 is a very special year for you.

    Leeann x

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  49. What a lovely place, my dear Jackie!!!!!!!I Everything looks so delightful - thank you so much for all this great impressions!!!!

    Have a wonderful sunday, Hugs Jade

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  50. I would LOVE to live somewhere like this. Very Midsomer Murders to me. Maybe some day...*sigh

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  51. fell for debs story... i feel like an idiot. sorry for the dramatic comment earlier... oh well, now you know a little more about me.. xx pam

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  52. You are a fabulous tour guide. Totally want to visit Mrs. McQueen. Ah ha ha

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  53. Be still my beating heart. Keep it up Jackie. Love Love Love. Heidi

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  54. I now got up and it is 1 day of february,Your birthday!!!
    One more time i wish you all the best and all the beauty in this world my friend,enjoy your day!
    with lots of love
    Magdalena

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  55. This is real picture postcard material Jac - I almost expected to see The Two Ronnies amble into the Pub. It's all across cyber space that today's your birthday - the happiest of days to you sweet Jac. Unlike Pam, I knew all along that Steve McQ. & you weren't really an item, but gee that clever Deb had me going for at least half of her post!!
    Millie ^_^

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  56. My dearest Jackie,
    all the best for your todays birthday, hearty congratulation, and I hope you will have a fantastic day....
    Your tour through this old village was wonderful, that is why I love GB so much....
    Have a great and splendid week
    Many warm hugs
    Bine

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  57. I saw blogging that today is your birthday! I want to wish you all the best and congratulations on your blog...it's faboulous!
    Warm greetings
    Vale

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  58. Happy, happy birthday for today Jackie!
    Hope the festivities went well over the weekend ... and are still continuing into today!
    One big hug to you!!
    xx

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  59. Hi Jackie..Great post, hope you have a lovely weekend.
    Best wishes for a wonderful birthday today!!
    Jeanne xo

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  60. Happy happy birthday my lovely friend!!
    Have a wonderful day!
    Simone xoxo

    PS Saffron Walden is beautiful, a friend of mine used to live there, I remember taking the train to the little station there and she would pick me up....great memories :)

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  61. We've just celebrated our 222nd birthday and here you are talking about places that are how old? Speaking of brithdays a little blogging birdie tells me it's your birthday today. Well happy birthday. Off to the King's Arm for a celebratory cocktail? Hope you have a fabulous day.
    Jennifer XX

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  62. Many congratulations to you! Happy birthday!! :)
    Best wishes and greetings,
    Marjolijn

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  63. Like a dream town.. so cute. I love it.

    Always beautiful to visit your special blog..

    Happy Birthday my dear..

    love..

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  64. Happy Birthday, Jacqueline, from Florida, USA.

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  65. Happy Birthday Jackie - hope the sun is shining where you are.....Susie x

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  66. I came via Mise and have been admiring the photography and all the style. happy birthday

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  67. Hello Jackie, I'm over from Carole at Maynard Greenhouse and would like to wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Hopefully you have a great day and can enjoy every minute!
    You have such a gorgeous home and live such a wonderful area. I'm off to take a closer look at your blog now.
    Have a wonderful Birthday!
    Hugs,
    Julia

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  68. after reading what they used to make plaster, it makes you not want to touch the building...ewwww....but they literally took something really horrible and made it into something gorgeous!

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  69. How beautiful! I love the pargeting, and I don't think I'd ever heard of it before. Oh, and Happy Birthday!

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  70. Hello Jackie, just popped in from Being Ruby to wish you a very happy birthday from the Highlands! I could lose myself in your blog for hours. Lovely images here. Lizzy :)

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  71. Hi Jackie, I'm back to wish the best of Birthdays sweetie. Have a wonderful day celebrating this special day, my special friend.
    hugs

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  72. Too Lovely for words,,,just, lovely..

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  73. Happy Birthday Jackie,
    Just wanted to stop by and wish you a wonderful day mon amie!
    Hugs,
    Mimi

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  74. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACKIE!
    I see you found the inspiration you were looking for after all... and thank goodness Parge looks prettier than the sum of all its constituents.
    Much love
    A

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  75. Happy Birthday Jackie, enjoy your very special day and may it be the start of a fabulous year.
    You have a wonderful home.

    Enjoy your week
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  76. Happy Birthday Jackie, hope its fabulous!! I loved this post and learned a lot!
    xoxo

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  77. Dear Friend,

    Look how many wonderful friends you have out here. All so eager to wish a "Happy Birthday" to a classy lady.

    Love,

    Marjorie

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  78. Bonjour Jacquie, Je t'adore, big hugs for your birthday. Hope you had a lovely time.
    Thank you for the interesring photos of saffron Walden, I hope to move near there one day, sooner rather than later I hope! When I do you will be very welcome to my house and it might even be a pargetted one.Keep up the wonderful camera work, your blogger friend M

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  79. I like your blog post. Keep on writing this type of great stuff. I'll make sure to follow up on your blog in the future.
    Sash Windows Edinburgh

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