Where in England will my custom briefcase be made? Saffron Walden in Essex, England

Where in England will my custom briefcase be made? Saffron Walden in Essex, England

Our bespoke leather goods workshop is located in Saffron Walden in Essex, England. 

Saffron Walden is a charming little market town 15 miles (24km) south of Cambridge and 43 miles (69km) north of London.


Saffron Walden is nestled in the Cam Valley and is surrounded by idyllic countryside. It retains a rural appearance and some buildings of the medieval period. The town’s history can be traced back to the Iron Age.


Although archaeological finds indicate that the area was once an Anglo-Saxon and Viking settlement, it was probably after the Norman Conquest that the town’s fortunes grew. Geoffrey de Mandeville, first Earl of Essex, built Walden Castle around 1140.


Geoffrey de Mandeville also founded Walden Abbey and contributed to the relocation of a market from Newport to Walden in 1141. An official charter was granted in 1295 for a Tuesday market, which still operates today along with an additional market day each Saturday.

During medieval times, the town’s main industry was wool and, in the 16th and 17th centuries, the successful cultivation of the Saffron Crocus would give the town its unique name. Good soil and climate were ideal for the plant whose coloured stigma was used in medicines, dye, condiments, perfume and even as an aphrodisiac.

During the 19th century, the Quakers had a strong influence on the town and one family, the Gibsons who founded Barclays Bank, funded the construction of some key buildings that are still in use today, including the museum and the Town Hall.

The last census in 2011 put the town’s population at 14,000, but there has since been considerable development meaning today’s figure is closer to 17,000


Church of St Mary the Virgin, Saffron Walden

Saint Mary the Virgin is the parish church of Saffron Walden. It is the largest church in Essex with an overall length of 183 feet and the spire, 193 feet high, which is the tallest in Essex. 

A Norman church was recorded in 1130. The building as it currently stands dates predominantly from a rebuilding between 1250 and 1258, with further rebuilding in the Perpendicular style begun in about 1450.

In 1769 the church was damaged by lightning. The repairs carried out in the 1790s removed many medieval features but saved the building which was in a dilapidated state. The spire was added in 1832 to replace an older "lantern" tower to a design of Thomas Rickman and Henry Hutchinson.

It is designated as a Grade I listed building. Grade I listed buildings and structures are of exceptional importance and even internationally important. There are over 6000 in the country. Only 2.5% of listed buildings are Grade I listed.

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