Bridge End Gardens
Bridge End Gardens is a group of linked ornamental gardens in Saffron Walden, Essex, England. The gardens are listed Grade II* on the Register of Parks and Gardens. They are located off Church Street, close to the Fry Art Gallery. Features include a maze.
History and restoration
Bridge End Gardens were built on fields on the edge of Saffron Walden and covers an area of 2.7 hectares (7 acres). The area was set out as gardens from around 1828 by Atkinson Francis Gibson and his wife Elizabeth. From 1838, his son Francis Gibson – who was interested in horticulture and had also completed a garden design for his sister – began creating a new garden with the help of a local nurseryman William Chater. The hedge maze was planted around 1870, by which stage the garden was under the management of a local agent and was used as a venue for shows by the Saffron Walden horticultural society.
The site opened to the public in 1902 and the borough council took over responsibility for its management from 1918, designating it as a 'public pleasure ground'.
In 1987, the garden was listed with English Heritage. In the same year, the maze was replanted and the kitchen garden cleared. Between 2002–2006 the garden was restored back to the 1870 plan. The kitchen garden reopened between 2009 and 2011.
Bridge End Gardens has participated in the Maze Festival, which marks the town of Saffron Walden's three mazes. There is an historic turf labyrinth maze on the common and another in the town's Jubilee Gardens. It also holds 'The 3 Maze Challenge', an event founded by William Stanley.  The first maze festival took place in 2011.
- Historic England, "Bridge End Gardens (1000238)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 23 December 2016
- "Bridge End Gardens, Saffron Walden, England". parksandgardens.org. Parks and Gardens. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
- "Picture gallery: Uttlesford council chairman hosts charity tour of Saffron Walden's historic Bridge End Garden". Dunmow Broadcast. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
- "Saffron Walden Maze Featival". saffronwaldenmazefestival.co.uk. Saffron Walden Maze Festival. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
- Luke, Adam (3 April 2013). "Maze festival returning to Saffron Walden". Cambridge Evening News. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
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