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Waltham Abbey area guide

Waltham Abbey | EN9

Area Guide

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Waltham Abbey Area Info

Waltham Abbey Area Info

Waltham Abbey is a market town located between the river Lea to the west and Epping forest to the East. It’s situated around 15 miles from Central London, but is very much a suburban town. As with most areas in the Epping Forest district Waltham Abbey still retains a rich agricultural heritage and its locally sourced seasonal produce takes centre stage on market day.

Properties here range from detached mansions and farms to new build riverside developments and everything in between. Waltham Abbey is a very desirable place to live thanks largely to its proximity to the M25 and A10 and public transport links into both London and East Anglia courtesy of Theobald’s Grove on the Overground and Waltham Cross on the Greater Anglia line.

Things To Do In Waltham Abbey

The Royal Gunpowder Mills is a fascinating museum exploring the origins of firepower and incendiary materials. The gardens and waterways that surround the Mills are open each Sunday during summer, and they also hold regular special events.

The Lee Navigation canal is navigable through central London and the west, or through Broxbourne to either Bishop’s Stortford on the river Stort or the River Lee’s terminus at Hertford. Narrowboat hire although expensive is well worthwhile for a short break.

Lee Valley White Water Centre is one of the many successful sporting venues of the London 2012 Olympic Legacy. Constructed to hold the white-water canoe slalom, it now offers canoeing and kayaking for all abilities (in still waters if the rapids are a little scary), experience days and family activities.

And of course, there’s the Abbey itself. Originally a Norman church, it’s a breath-taking example of the architecture of its time. Services are held regularly in the Abbey Church, as are recitals and social evenings.

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History of Waltham Abbey

Waltham Abbey has a very rich cultural history, which centres around the Abbey itself. King Harold II visited the church which was later replaced by the Abbey to pray before going into the now legendary Battle of Hastings in 1066 where he met his demise at the hands of William the Conqueror. His body was later brought back to Waltham Abbey to rest. Since then Waltham Abbey became known as King Harold’s Town, and he is celebrated in many ways by the residents of Waltham Abbey.

There is evidence of prehistoric and Roman activity in Waltham Abbey. Digs at Waltham Holy Cross in the early 1970’s unearthed several finds of pottery and roof tiles dating back to 300-400 A.D. The archaeologists also noted changes in earth structure which showed evidence of dwellings and ditches from around the same date.

Markets have played an important part in Waltham Abbey’s history, and during the reign of Richard the Lionheart, Waltham Abbey was granted Charter status to hold fairs and markets.

Waltham Abbey
Waltham Abbey

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