What to See in England
By Gordon Home

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Public Domain Books

Waltham Abbey and Cross

=How to get there.=–Train from Liverpool Street. Great Eastern Railway. =Nearest Station.=–Waltham. =Distance from London.=–12-3/4 miles. =Average Time.=–40 minutes. Quickest train, 23 minutes.

                    1st      2nd      3rd
=Fares.=–Single  2s. 0d.  1s. 6d.  1s. 1d.
          Return  3s. 3d.  2s. 6d.  1s. 7d.

=Accommodation Obtainable.=–"The New Inn,” etc.

Waltham Abbey is a market town in Essex on the banks of the Lea, which here divides into several branches which are used as motive power for some gunpowder and flour mills. Harold II. founded the stately Abbey Church in May 1060. William the Conqueror disputed Harold’s claim to the throne and landed in England at Pevensey in 1066. At Waltham Abbey, troubled and anxious, Harold prayed for victory in England’s name before the fatal battle of Hastings, where he was slain. William at first refused to give up Harold’s body to his mother, Gytha, but he afterwards allowed two monks from Waltham to search for the body of the king. They were unable to find it amongst the nameless dead, but his favourite, Edith the swan-necked, whose eye of affection was not to be deceived, discovered it. His weeping mother buried the disfigured corpse probably about 120 feet from the east end of the old church.

At Waltham is one of the many crosses erected by Edward I. in memory of his first wife, Eleanor of Castile, wherever her body rested on its way to Westminster from Lincoln. At Northampton is another of these famous crosses. When the king asked the Abbot of Cluny to intercede for her soul, he said, “We loved her tenderly in her lifetime; we do not cease to love her in death.”

A little way to the left of Waltham Cross, now a gateway to the park of Theobalds, stands Temple Bar, stone for stone intact as it was in the days when traitors’ heads were raised above it in Fleet Street, although the original wooden gates have gone. A portion of the richly-carved top of the gate is still in existence in London. Waltham Abbey is probably close to that part of the river Lea where King Alfred defeated the Danes. They had penetrated far up the river when King Alfred diverted the waters of the river from underneath their black vessels and left them high and dry in a wilderness of marsh and forest. The gentle Charles Lamb was very fond of the country all round Waltham Abbey, especially Broxbourne and Amwell.


Waltham Abbey was founded in 1060 by Harold II.]


Preface  •  Ham House and Petersham  •  Walton-On-Thames (scold’s Bridle)  •  Harrow  •  Holwood House, Keston  •  Chigwell, Essex  •  Waltham Abbey and Cross  •  Downe  •  Epsom: Its Races and Its Salts  •  Epping Forest  •  Hampton Court  •  Rye House, Broxbourne  •  Hatfield House, Herts  •  Runnymead, the Signing of Magna Charta  •  The Oldest Brass in England  •  St. Albans  •  Stoke Poges Church, Bucks  •  Windsor  •  Jordans and William Penn  •  Knole House and Sevenoaks  •  Greenstead Church  •  Chalfont St. Giles  •  Westerham  •  Guildford, Surrey  •  Gad’s Hill  •  Ightham Mote, Kent  •  Penshurst  •  St. Michael’s Mount and Marazion  •  Rochester Cathedral  •  Tunbridge Wells  •  The Quintain Post At Offham and Malling Abbey  •  Eversley  •  Farnham, Surrey  •  Hindhead, Surrey  •  Shottermill  •  Penn’s Chapel At Thakeham, Sussex  •  Chawton the Home of Jane Austen  •  Selborne  •  Elstow  •  Lewes, Sussex  •  Bodiam Castle, Sussex  •  Colchester, Essex  •  Layer Marney  •  Battle Abbey  •  Cambridge  •  Arundel Castle  •  Olney, Bucks  •  Wantage and the Country of Alfred the Great  •  Canterbury and Its Cathedral  •  Reculvers  •  Oxford  •  Midhurst  •  Pevensey Castle  •  Savernake Forest  •  Ely Cathedral  •  St. Ives, Huntingdonshire  •  Winchelsea and Rye  •  Blenheim Palace  •  Peterborough Cathedral and Crowland  •  Peterborough  •  Southampton  •  Helmingham Hall  •  Stonehenge, Wiltshire  •  Netley Abbey  •  Salisbury and Its Cathedral  •  Sandwich, Kent  •  New Forest, Hampshire  •  Osborne House  •  Carisbrooke Castle  •  Lutterworth  •  Compton Wynyates  •  Kenilworth Castle  •  Belvoir Castle  •  Bath  •  Boston and the Pilgrim Fathers  •  Warwick  •  Gloucester and Its Cathedral  •  Norfolk Broads  •  Norwich Cathedral  •  Lichfield  •  Sherborne and Its Abbey Church  •  Newark  •  Wells and Its Cathedral  •  Stratford-On-Avon  •  Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk  •  Lulworth Cove, Dorsetshire  •  Corfe Castle  •  Lincoln and Its Cathedral  •  Somerset, the Birthplace of Tennyson  •  Glastonbury Abbey  •  Walsingham, Norfolk  •  Cheddar Caves, Cheddar, Somerset  •  Newstead Abbey  •  The Wessex of Thomas Hardy’s Romances  •  Tintern Abbey  •  Chesterfield, Derbyshire  •  Dukeries  •  Haddon Hall, Derbyshire  •  The Isle of Athelney, and Sedgemoor  •  Raglan Castle  •  Dovedale  •  Wellington and the Wrekin, Shropshire  •  Wroxeter and the Roman City of Uriconium, Salop  •  Buildwas Abbey, Shropshire  •  Ludlow and Its Castle  •  Shrewsbury  •  Buxton and the Peak District  •  Tewkesbury  •  Exeter and Its Cathedral  •  Market Drayton, Salop  •  Chester  •  Exmoor  •  Knutsford  •  Torr Steps On the Barle, Somerset  •  Cleeve Abbey, Somerset  •  Hawarden  •  York Minster  •  Coxwold, Yorkshire  •  Llangollen and Valle Crucis Abbey  •  Knaresborough, Dripping Well  •  Fountains Abbey  •  Ripon Cathedral  •  Dartmoor  •  Haworth  •  Rievaulx Abbey  •  Brixham, Devon  •  Conway Castle  •  The Doone Valley, Exmoor  •  Llandovery, South Wales  •  Dartmouth, Devon  •  Richmond, Yorkshire  •  Tintagel  •  Whitby  •  Carnarvon Castle  •  Plymouth  •  Durham and Its Cathedral  •  Raby Castle, Durham  •  Snowdon  •  Harlech Castle  •  Grasmere and Rydal Mount  •  The Lake District  •  St. Davids Cathedral  •  Furness Abbey, Lancashire  •  Monkwearmouth, Near Jarrow  •  The Isle of Man  •  Brantwood  •  Fowey  •  Hexham and Hadrian’s Wall  •  The Lake District  •  Keswick  •  Alnwick Castle  •  Lanercost Priory, Cumberland  •  Lanercost Priory and Stepping-Stones.]  •  St. Ives, Cornwall  •  Bamborough Castle, Northumberland

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What to see in England;: A guide to places of historic interest, natural beauty or literary association,
By Gordon Home
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