What lies beneath? Market Square excavations…

Saffron Walden Market Square is collapsing – again! Some years ago, it was refurbished with paviours, and looked quite smart. But sink holes keep on forming, and they are costly and time-consuming to fix. More to the point, the fixes never seem to last for very long – more sink holes open up within a year or so.

The market square in Saffron Walden is mediaeval in origin (as is much of the town centre). It would have seen all sorts of construction – including, it is thought, a mediaeval well. And the latest collapse produced a hole which emanated the unmistakable smell of sewage!

So it is high time we discovered more about ‘what lies beneath’.

The Town Council, led by the Planning and Road Traffic Committee, is commissioning a geophysical survey of the square. This is a non-destructive way of imaging the immediate sub-surface of the area, and is widely used by archaeologists and others working on historic sites. The process will be quick, and probably carried out on a Sunday (or immediately after a market, when the square is still free of parked cars and traffic).