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Mazes and Labyrinths

48 49 The largest ancient labyrinth in the British Isles can still be seen on the village green in the delightful Essex town of Saffron Walden. It is surrounded by a ditch and mound and measures about 120 feet across. The pathway is a staggering one mile long and there used to be an ash tree on the large central mound. the diagram opposite is schematic. As at the St. Catherines Hill Mizmaze, the path consists of the groove instead of the raised turf, and at Saffron Walden this is now a narrow red brick path, The four strange corner protrusions were known as bastions and point towards the nearby market towns of Newmarket, Chelmsford, Bishops Stortford and Cambridge. The design is unique, having 17 circuits. Legend has it that an even larger labyrinth once existed further to the east. As at many other labyrinths there used to be a custom that a maiden would stand at the centre while her beau would try and run the whole design without putting a foot wrong. Legends then vary some say he was allowed to dance with her, while others suggest he had to carry her all the way out of the labyrinth if he wished to keep her. This might have been no small task at Saffron Walden. SAffrON wAlDEN the long jouney
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