Facts about Sawbridgeworth
Sawbridgeworth is a small town and civil parish in Hertfordshire, England, close to the border with Essex. It is 12 miles east of Hertford and 9 miles north of Epping. Underlying the town at some depth is the London Clay stratum, with a thick layer of Boulder clay laid down during the ice ages, including the Anglian. The soil on top of this is a loam, with erratics of Hertfordshire puddingstone conglomerate found around the town.
By the time of the Norman conquest, or soon after, Sawbridgeworth’s rich farming land was fully developed for cultivation as was possible with the means available at the time: it was the richest village community in the county. It is, then, hardly surprising that many important medieval families had estates here. The land was divided among them, into a number of manors or distinct estates; the Lord of each manor had rights not only over this land but also over the people who farmed it.
During the Second World War RAF Sawbridgeworth, which is not in the civil parish, operated Supermarine Spitfires, Westland Lysanders, North American Mustangs and de Havilland Mosquito, among other types – for a complete history of the airfield, see the book “Where the Lysanders were”, by Paul Doyle, published in 1995 by Forward Airfield Research Publishing.