i like old churches. old churches are cool. exciting, strange, unique, and ubiquitous ecclesiastical architecture.
Thursday, 1 November 2012
St Mary's, Saffron Walden
Saffron Walden church is one of the finest in Essex. Like many other towns in East Anglia, it's wealth peaked in the 15th century as a wool town, exporting cloth to the continent. In those days, wool was big business. There was no cotton, and no polyester. Wool was essential. And English wool had a reputation for being the finest.
In earlier periods, Wool had made Northamptonshire wealthy, and later it brought prosperity to The Cotswolds. The richest church architecture of each period is often closely linked to the region's dominance in the wool trade.
The townsfolk of Saffron Walden built a church which reflected this wealth. Mostly perpendicular, it has a high embattled tower, with a recessed spire. The body of the church is broad and high with wide aisles and a grand clerestory.
To this day, the spire and the clerestory tower over the Mediaeval, Georgian and Victorian buildings of the town, which is famed for its beauty.