South View of Saffron Walden Church
Engraver: Jukes & Sarjent
South view of the parish church of St Mary the Virgin in Saffron Walden. Its unusual length of 183ft and lofty, pinnacled nave roof and west tower make it one of the most impressive parish churches in Essex. It is reminiscent of King's College Chapel at Cambridge. Indeed they have similarities: being built from the mid 15th century and well respected master masons Simon Clerk and John Wastell worked on both buildings. The late medieval building replaced a mid 13th century church which was made unsafe after a terrible storm in 1445. The church was rebuilt in stages: first the tower, then the nave, then the north and south aisles etc. The rebuilding continued between c.1450 to c.1525. There was no spire until 1832 - a wooden lantern covered in lead was added in the late 17th century but Lord Braybrooke complained it was 'mean in appearance'.