Commemoration of King Harold 2017 is today – come and join us

We have already announced that  we have had to cancel King Harold Day this year.

I had been toying with the idea that we should continue to mark King Harold’s death even though King Harold Day will not be taking place.   The Music for Lunch recital in the Abbey Church will in any event be held, and a most appropriate programme has been arranged, including music by Thomas Tallis, who was Director of Music at the Abbey up until its dissolution.   I decided that at least I would put flowers on the King Harold Memorial.

Since then a number of people have suggested that we should hold a ceremony, including Waltham Abbey Historical Society who wished to place their normal floral tribute, and the Rector, The Rev’d Peter Smith, has offered to be with us and to participate.   So, with the help of various people a programme has been put together.

The ceremony at the King Harold Memorial will take place on Saturday 7thOctober at 11.00am.   Please note this is an earlier time than usual.   I am pleased to report that our Junior King Harold will be with us again.   The programme will include a performance by Sue Macmillan and Hannah McDowall, the presenters of Eleanor Longshanks, who will tell the story of medieval kingship and queenship, and an Arthurian legend.

Those attending are invited to go into the Abbey Church afterwards where refreshments will be available from 12 noon, with the Recital beginning at 12.30pm.

The Historical Society will be staging an exhibition in the Church, and a new booklet by Grenville Weltch, edited by  Lawrence Greenall, about the King Harold Memorial will be published on the day and be on sale.   Grenville has also kindly agreed to arrange for a tour of the Abbey Church after the Recital.

We are delighted that the Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, Cllr Dave Stallan, and the Mayor of Waltham Abbey, Cllr Mick Fitch, will be able to join us despite the short notice.

I should emphasize that there will be no procession through the town centre and nobody will be in medieval costume.

Not as big an event as usual but still it looks like it will be an excellent occasion.   Do please come along and join us at the King Harold Memorial in the Abbey Churchyard, and spread the word as much as you can for us so that we have a really good attendance.   Let us continue to commemorate King Harold on this day.

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CANCELLATION OF KING HAROLD DAY 2017

We very much regret that King Harold Day will not be held in 2017.

We have had problems regarding the site, and have therefore been left with no choice but to cancel.

We shall continue to work to find a solution, even if it means going to a different but nearby site.   We hope that we shall be back in 2018 when King Harold Day would be on Saturday 6th October.

We shall much miss seeing all our friends.

 

 

 

Published in: on September 1, 2017 at 11:13 am  Comments (1)  
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2016 – 950th Anniversary of The Year of King Harold

Today is the 951st anniversary of the Coronation at Westminster Abbey of King Harold II, the Lord of the Manor of Waltham and founder of what became the Great Abbey. 

It marks the end of our Year of King Harold at Waltham Abbey when we celebrated the 950th anniversary of the important 1066 dates. We began with Compline for a Coronation in the Abbey on the 6 January 2016. During the year we went on to have a major exhibition at the Museum on King Harold II, his Life and Legacy. We welcomed English Heritage’s 1066 March to the town when armoured horsemen rode at some speed through gridlocked traffic to the Abbey and we then re-enacted King Harold praying at the Holy Cross of Waltham before continuing his journey to Hastings. Then we had the 2016 King Harold Day. This was followed by a Day Conference held at the Town Hall, and organized by the Museum, which attracted renowned speakers on King Harold, the Bayeux Tapestry and the 1066 story. Finally there was a talk on King Harold at the Museum. 

Many thanks to all those who helped to arrange the programme of events, who took part or who watched as it all took place.

We believe we have done the anniversary proud and that Waltham Abbey has lived up to its name as “King Harold’s Town”. We will continue to protect and promote the last Anglo Saxon King of England and the rich history of Waltham Abbey.

 

 

 

 

Come and welcome 1066 Marchers to Waltham Abbey tomorrow

KING HAROLD 950 FESTIVAL AT WALTHAM ABBEY

Here’s the 1066 York to Hastings Marchers at Audley End, which they reached today.   They will be arriving at Waltham Abbey Gateway tomorrow afternoon, Thursday, about 5 pm.  (EN9 1XQ).

Do come and join us at the Gateway to welcome them.   And the Abbey bells will also peal out a welcome.   Then we will move to the rear of the Abbey, the east side, where we shall re-enact King Harold II praying at the miraculous Holy Cross of Waltham for victory in the coming battle against Duke William of Normandy.   Legend has it that the figure on the Cross bowed its head.   This was taken as a bad omen for the battle, and was right as at the Battle of Senlac Hill, popularly known as the Battle of Hastings, King Harold lost his life.   So the last Anglo Saxon King of England was no more.

1066-march-at-audley-end-2

Published in: on October 5, 2016 at 5:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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King Harold Day on Saturday

king-harold-day-poster-2016

Published in: on October 4, 2016 at 7:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Compline for a Coronation

The first event of our KH 950 celebrations at Waltham Abbey is on Wednesday 6th January Medieval monks in Abbeywhen we shall mark King Harold’s coronation with a service of Compline in the Abbey Church at 5.00 pm.

Waltham, like the other monastic houses, would have kept the canonical hours, the eight divine offices each day, with the last one being Compline just before retiring to bed.

This daily pattern would be well known not just to the canons but to King Harold and his court, who would regularly have been at the church for Compline.

It is fitting then that we commemorate Harold’s coronation which took place at Edward the Confessor’s new West Minster Abbey by holding this service of Compline at Waltham Abbey, Harold’s own monastic foundation.

All are welcome at this service, especially those who are interested in King Harold II, in his great monastic foundation at Waltham, and in the story of the last Anglo Saxon King of England.

Wednesday 6th January 2016

5.00 pm    Service of Compline 

The Abbey Church, Waltham Abbey, Essex, EN9 1DG. 

 

Published in: on January 3, 2016 at 3:52 am  Comments (2)  
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KH 950

2016 is a hugely important year for us in Waltham Abbey.   It’s the 950th Anniversary of all the important King Harold dates.

KH 950 Logo (lower version) kite shield0002 (2)

Many thanks to Isabelle Perrichon for creating the KH 950 logo.

Published in: on January 2, 2016 at 5:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beau stars in Poldark

We’ve noticed that the Lloyds Bank television Black Raven K H Day 2010  (161)advert has been shown again in the last week or so.

Did you know that lovely, sleek black stallion that appears in it is Beau, who comes to King Harold Day and enchants young and old alike.

He really is a star.   This week he has been down in Cornwall filming the next series of Poldark.   

If the weather has allowed filming to progress to the finish, then he’ll be at King Harold Day, with his usual rider, The Black Raven Knight.    Well, let’s hope filming has gone well so we can enjoy having Beau with us once again.

King Harold Day admission price slashed

It’s King Harold Day on Saturday (10th October) in the lovely Abbey Gardens at Waltham Abbey, EN9 1XQ.

Due to circumstances beyond our control, Saturday’s programme and attractions have had to be changed.

We have therefore slashed our admission prices for this year only.

All Adults    £2

Children accompanied by adults  –  free of charge

There are still loads of great things to see, including:- magnificent birds of prey; dancers; tours of the Abbey; medieval musicians; visits to the Abbey’s Bell Ringing Chamber; Morris Dancers; animals’ bees; exhibitions; a recital of special music for King Harold Day in the Abbey; a craft fair; a vintage Rolls Royce; Epping Ongar Railway’s Supercar; the English Companions who will show you weapons and objects from medieval times; artwork by the town’s primary schools in the Abbey; a procession through the town centre and a ceremony at the King Harold Memorial Stone in the Churchyard; lots of hands on things for children to do; Have-a-go Archery; and a Hog Roast and delicious doughnuts for your refreshment.

Published in: on October 8, 2015 at 4:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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First school signs up for Art Exhibition

The first school has signed up for the King Harold Day Schools’ ArtWHX Primary School Exhibition, and we are delighted to welcome the new Waltham Holy Cross Primary School, which readers will know as the former separate Infant and Junior Schools.

The two Waltham Holy Cross schools have been with us from our very first year, twelve years ago, and have produced some outstanding work.   We look forward to seeing what they come up with this year.