Saffron Walden is located in the north-west corner of Essex, 21.9km south-east of Cambridge and 18km north-east of Bishops Stortford, and the common, the focus of the 2013 excavations is centred on NGR TL. Saffron Walden is by-passed by the M11 to the west, the A11 to the north and the main Cambridge to Haverhill road, A1307 to the north and east.
The historic core of the town is centred on St Mary’s church and Walden Castle that both sit on an area of higher ground overlooking the Slade valley, and are bounded by two parallel roads, Church Street to the south and Castle Street to the north. A planned settlement within a large enclosure ditch was then laid out down slope to the south and west of the outer bailey with a new market place and streets. The town stayed relatively small until the 20th century, during which there has been a great expansion of modern developments on all sides of the town.
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