Postal Code: CB101BP
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Saffron Walden is a municipal borough, market town, and parish on the East Anglian Heights, 12 miles north of Bishops Stortford.In the medieval period the primary trade in Saffron Walden was in wool. However, in the 16th century and 17th century the saffron crocus (crocus sativus) became widely grown in the area. The flower was precious, as extract from the stigmas, the saffron, was used in medicines, as a condiment, as a perfume, as an aphrodisiac, and as an expensive yellow dye. This industry gave its name to the town and Chipping Walden became Saffron Walden.
Walden Abbey was a Benedictine monastery in Saffron Walden, Essex, England founded by Geoffrey de Mandeville, 1st Earl of Essex between 1136 and 1143. Originally a priory, it was elevated to the status of an abbey in 1190.
The abbey eventually came under the patronage of the Duchy of Lancaster in the later middle ages, and thus passed to the crown in 1399.
After the dissolution of Walden during the reign of Henry VIII, the abbey property was purchased by Sir Thomas Audley, who built his house Audley End there. (text added by Geoffrey Gillon)