The Cross Keys Hotel
32 High Street, Saffron Walden, Essex
This is a truly splendid old inn where the resident ghost walks abroad simply once a year. That is on Christmas Eve between eleven o’clock and midnight. Listeners hear Heavy footsteps, with floorboards creaking, with going only in one direction. This ends at a wall before the sounds of walking feet abruptly stop. These steps are heavy enough to make the ceiling creak. Saffron Walden still shows in many parts as it was in medieval times. At that time, the primary trade in Saffron Walden was in wool. However, in the 16th century and 17th century the saffron crocus becamea widely grown in the area. The flower was precious, as extract from the stigmas people used in medicines, a condiment, a perfume, an aphrodisiac, and as an expensive yellow dye. This industry gave its name to the town. Chipping Walden became Saffron Walden.