On this Day……7th April 1914…….The Great Fire at Little Chesterford

On the 7th April 1914, a fire broke out at Bordeaux farm in the parish of Littlebury.  Newspaper reports at the time suggested that in high winds, sparks from a traction engine caught light to some dry thatch.  The flames ran along the river path to Little Chesterford and then spread rapidly across the village. … Read More »

Object of the Month : April 2021

April’s Object of the Month has been chosen by Jenny Oxley, Collections Officer (Human History) and is not strictly one object but a collection, in this case, items made from barkcloth, which form part of the museum’s world cultures collections. The museum holds around 80 barkcloth items, originating from all around the world, but largely… Read More »

“The Dig” on Netflix & it’s Saffron Walden Museum connections

Have you been watching “The Dig” on Netflix, which explores the excavation of the Great Ship Burial at Sutton Hoo (1939), based on John Preston’s novel. Many of the characters depicted are inspired by real people, including one connected to Saffron Walden Museum. Guy Maynard (1877-1968) was the museum’s Curator between 1904 and 1920, having… Read More »

Object of the Month – February 2021

Water voles are probably best known from the character ‘Ratty’ from The Wind in the Willows. Recently described as “Britain’s fastest, declining mammal”, they are making a comeback thanks to careful wildlife management and the return of a locally extinct predator – the polecat. Water vole © Saffron Walden Museum. Water voles are about the… Read More »

Object of the Month – January 2021

These Snowdrops from Littlebury in Essex are January’s ‘Object of the Month’. The snowdrops were collected by George Stacey Gibson in a meadow at Littlebury in March 1864, so these preserved plants are 156 years old. George Stacey Gibson of Saffron Walden published the first Flora of Essex in 1862. This is an illustration of… Read More »

Special Museum Re-Opening

We are delighted to announce that Saffron Walden will be re-opening exclusively to our Season Ticket Holders, Museum Society members and Museum Volunteers from Thursday 10th December, to offer our friends and supporters a preview before full re-opening to the public in 2021. Pre-booking is essential and you will be able to book your timed… Read More »

Visiting Saffron Walden Museum

Wallace says “Please enjoy your visit in safety by following our simple procedures” Hands              there is sanitiser for your paws on entry, and all round the Museum Face                please wear a face covering (unless exempt by government guidance) Space              Wallace’s paw marks every 2m will help you keep a safe distance Temperature Check on entry… Read More »

Object of the Month – December 2020

Karl Wesche (1925-2005), Sculpture: Deutschland 1946 Despite the museum having been physically closed to the public because of Covid-19 lockdowns for many months, we have thankfully continued to receive many interesting research enquiries. Maybe in lockdown, some academic researchers had fewer competing distractions!  For us working behind the scenes, the constant flow of research enquiries,… Read More »

The History of Saffron Walden Castle

Saffron Walden Castle is situated on a promontory at the junction of two streams, the Madgate Slade and the King’s Slade, in a position which would have commanded the valley westwards to the River Cam. Only the flint core of the basement remains of the once 3-storey keep. Inside are traces of a circular staircase,… Read More »