Saffron Walden celebrates its Maze heritage with week-long Maze Festival

By Culture24 Reporter | 19 August 2011
a photo of a girl peeping through the hedge of a maze
© Courtesy Saffron Walden Maze Festival

Festival: Maze Festival, various locations in Saffron Walden, Essex, August 20-28 2011

Knitted mazes, lazer mazes, dowsing for lost mazes and a concert of French Medieval song featuring the anonymous 14th century refrain celebrating the work of the arch labyrinth maker Daedalus. These are just some of the treats awaiting visitors to the first Saffron Walden Maze festival.

The sleepy Essex town is home to England’s largest turf maze, which lies on the common in the lee of Walden Castle. Measuring more than 100 feet in diameter, it is said to date to the 17th century and accompanies a later Victorian hedge maze at Bridge End Gardens.

Among the events celebrating this intriguing heritage is the Fry Art Gallery’s weeklong “compact exhibition”, Maze and Minotaur, featuring works by Michael Ayrton – in particular, his haunting bronze of Icarus.

Elsewhere there is Spiral Dancing at Dorset House Garden, quarter peel bell ringing at St Mary’s Church and an annual dance in the town square. 

Individuals, families, businesses and groups are invited to grow, paint, sculpt and build mazes in their homes and gardens and help make Saffron Walden the most A-Mazing town in the UK.

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