History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
De Mandeville built a number of castles to strengthen his hold over East Anglia, but in 1142 he was forced to surrender his Anglian strongholds to King Stephen. Never one to take his punishment quietly, de Mandeville rebelled against the Henry II in 1143 and was killed in battle.
The outer bailey was quite large, and enclosed the nearby parish church and the early medieval town of Walden (it was not renamed Saffron Walden until later in the medieval period). By 1594 the castle was described as ruinous.
Though it is not immediately obvious at ground level, the layout of the streets surrounding the castle site follow the line of the 12th century bailey, or outer enclosure. One relatively modern addition to the 12th century construction is an 18th century semaphore station tacked on to the north west angle.
When the Uttlesford District Council decided that the crumbling castle needed repais they set a team of archaeologists to discover the original foundation walls so they could be stabilised. What the team of archaeologists found instead was that parts of the foundations were gone, probably plundered for building material by 16th century inhabitants of the town. The archaeologists sunk three separate trenches searching for the foundations and never found any.
Immediately beside the castle site is the Saffron Walden Museum, one of the earliest museums in England, founded in 1835.
About Walden Castle
Address: Castle Street, Saffron Walden, Essex, England, CB10 2BS
Attraction Type: Castle
Location: Beside the Saffron Walden Museum, off Castle Street, Museum Street, or Castle Hill. For satnav use postcode CB10 2BS. There is limited parking at the museum, and the exterior of the castle can be viewed freely during daylight hours.
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Saffron Walden Museum - 0.1 miles (Museum)
Saffron Walden, St Mary's Church - 0.1 miles (Historic Church)
Audley End House - 0.9 miles (Historic House)
Wendens Ambo, St Mary's Church - 2.2 miles (Historic Church)
Ickleton, St Mary's Church - 4.2 miles (Historic Church)
Priors Hall Barn - 4.2 miles (Historic Building)
Duxford, St John's Church - 5.9 miles (Historic Church)
Duxford Chapel - 6.3 miles (Historic Building)
Nearest Accommodation to Walden Castle:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts
Tourist Information Centre
1 Market Place
Tel: 01799 524 002
Fax: 01799 524003