History of Waltham Abbey

Duncan Phillips Estate Agents based on Sun Street in Waltham Abbey, are this year, 2017, celebrating 30 years of trading in the area. Howard, the Managing Director of the Company has been in the property business for 37 years, having traded himself since 1987, some 30 years.

Here's a little more about the history of our lovely town, Waltham Abbey.

  • The name Waltham derives from weald or wald "forest" and ham "homestead" or "enclosure". The recorded history of the town began during the reign of Canute in the early 11th century.
  • Legend also has it, that after his death at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, Harold's body was brought to Waltham for burial near to the High Altar. Today, the spot is marked by a stone slab in the churchyard (originally the site of the high altar prior to the Reformation).
  • The River Lea, which forms the county boundary with Hertfordshire, is the town’s western boundary, and the eastern boundary runs through Epping Forest.
  • The medieval Waltham Abbey Church was kept as it was close to a town and is still used as a parish church. In addition there are other remains of the former abbey – the Grade II*listed Midnight Chapel, the gatehouse, a vaulted passage and Harold’s Bridge – all in the care of English Heritage.These grounds are notable for the reputed grave of Harold II or "Harold Godwinson", the last Anglo-Saxon King of England.
  • Housed in a building dating back to 1520 is the Epping Forest District Museum, which tells the story of the people who have lived and worked in this part of south Essex from the earliest times to the present.
  • On the site of a former gunpowder factory another museum illustrates the evolution of explosives and the development of the Royal Gunpowder Mills (an Anchor Point of ERIH, The European Route of Industrial Heritage) through interactive and traditional exhibitions and displays. The site hosts living history and battle re-enactment events most summer weekends and also offers a self-guided nature walk that shows visitors the ecology that has reclaimed much of the remaining 175 acres (0.71 km2).
  • The former gravel pits in the Lea Valley and parts of the former Abbey Gardens are now in the care of the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority for recreational use and nature conservation.
  • The Lee Valley White Water Centre (previously known as Broxbourne White Water Canoe Centre) is a white-water slalom centre, that was constructed to host the canoe slalom events of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Read more on Wikipedia.

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