Saffron Street, EC1M

Place Name

A medieval path, first referenced in 1602, that ran through the Bishop of Ely’s gardens, which were famed for their vines, roses and strawberries as well as being the City’s main source of the saffron crocus. The spice was much sought after in the period for its variety of uses including as an orange-yellow dye, to cover the smell of rancid meat and in medicine as a cure “for quieting the brain and strengthening the heart”. It was originally grown in Cambridgeshire and Essex and was most likely brought here by an early green-fingered monk or bishop.

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