Waltham Abbey began as a bank and ditch enclosure in the area around the present Market Square, probably prehistoric. In early Saxon times, this part of the Lea Valley was a hunting park of the Kings of Essex and during the first decade and a half of the 7th Century, one of them, Serbert, had a small wooden church built on the site of the present church.
In the second half of the 8th Century, Essex was annexed by Mercia, and King Offa of Mercia had the church rebuilt in stone. A great crucifix was brought to that church during the reign of King Canute. It was reputed to have healing powers and the town soon became a centre for pilgrimage. Waltham became the property of Earl Harold, later King Harold II, and a new church was commissioned in the 12th Century. The Abbot, as Lord of the Manor, was granted a charter for a market and a fair and the town flourished as a local centre of trade.
The Abbey was dissolved in 1540 (the last survivor), and only the parish nave and a few fragments survived the subsequent demolition. The town declined with the loss of the pilgrims, but revived when the Gunpowder Factory was established early in the 17th Century.
In 1875 Waltham Abbey was a small market town, on the edge of Epping Forest. Developments in explosive technology led to the expansion of the royal Gunpowder factory after 1885 on a site south of the town, and from the 1890's the nursery industry, serving the London market, began to develop locally, having migrated up the Lea Valley in search of clean air and away from building development. With the railway and the main road from London to the north, a mile away to the west, the place has retained its character as a small market town, it is only 12 miles from London, but it has been protected from being swallowed up into Greater London by the barrier of Epping Forest.
Premier Inn Waltham Abbey *book online*
Estate AgentJ B Property Services
Pub and Bar
Hedge-Rose Floral Design
Waltham Abbey Pets
Le Cafe Du Parc
The Upper Crust
Mr Johns of Waltham Abbey
Places to Stay near Waltham Abbey
Premier Inn Enfield (1.08 miles)
YHA Lee Valley (1.28 miles)
Premier Inn Waltham Abbey (1.43 miles)
Waltham Abbey Marriott Hotel (1.50 miles)
Travelodge Cheshunt (1.64 miles)
There are loads of reasons our customers choose to stay at Travelodge. Our great value clean and comfortable rooms with en-suite provide everything needed for a good night's sleep and are close to where people ... More | visit website
Theobalds Park (2.21 miles)
Holtwhites Hotel (4.05 miles)
Ridgeway Hotel (4.28 miles)
The Stag Enfield (4.28 miles)The Stag Enfield is based in Enfield town and has 9 recently refurbished letting rooms, all with flat screen TVs and Coffee making facilities. Most of our rooms have en suite bathrooms and are cleaned to ... More | visit website
Bell Hotel Epping (4.35 miles)
On this day: