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.


Come and welcome 1066 Marchers to Waltham Abbey tomorrow


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.


Published in: on October 5, 2016 at 5:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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King Harold Day 2014 – Procession and Ceremony

Here’s a video of the Procession through the town centre and the ceremony at the King Harold Memorial Stone in the Abbey Churchyard on King Harold Day at Waltham Abbey, Saturday 11 October 2014.   We were lucky with the weather, and it was a very successful day.

The day commemorates Harold Godwinsson, the last Anglo Saxon King of England, who was killed on 14 October 1066 at the Battle of Senlac Hill.

This is the link.

Published in: on October 26, 2014 at 2:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Ancestor of the Abbey of Waltham

Many strangers passing through the lovely Abbey Gardens at Waltham Abbey  –  and The Ancestor and the Church Centreperhaps a few locals too  –  see just a wooden post standing in the middle of some grass.   Their eyes probably don’t take in the shape carved into the wood.   But here, in the best picture of The Ancestor (as it is actually called) that I have ever seen, it is quite clear what the post is.   It is a tall, thin medieval monk looking out over the site of his monastery.   In Waltham Abbey’s case he would have been an Augustinian Canon.   His hands are clasped in front of him;  his head is cowled;  and his features are very clear.

Many thanks to Henry Ward Property Solutions for a wonderful photograph and permission to use it.

Photo of the Day – A Teutonic Knight

A Teutonic Knight makes his way from his tent to the Abbey.   King Harold Day, Waltham Abbey, 13 October 2012.    

Photograph  –  Jonathan Foster

KHD2012- (80)B Teutonic Knight (375x800)

Published in: on January 9, 2013 at 9:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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