Sunday, July 15, 2012



3.- Coat of Arms of Waltham Abbey with
the Lion and the Black HOLY CROSS

2.- King Harold II, the last Saxon King
as seen in the Bayeux Tapestry

1.- Remains of Waltham Abbey Gatehouse and Bridge



The town of Waltham was traditionally founded by Tovi or Tofig, when he built a wooden church to house the black-marble miracle-working crucifix (The Holy Cross) discovered on his estate in Somerset.

The wooden church was later replaced by one of stone by the Earl(later King Harold the Second, who was traditionally buried here after dying in 1066 at the Battle of Hastings. Harold II was the last Saxon King.

Harold's association with the town is recalled by the Lion's face from the arms attributed to him.

In 1184 the Priory founded in 1177 by Henry II on the site of Harold's church, as part of his penance for his role in the murder of Thomas Becket, was replaced by an Abbey.

The Abbey, from whose arms the Black Cross on white is taken, grew to become one of the richest in Essex and held extensive lands from the 12th century until it was the last abbey to be dissolved in 1540.

The modern Epping Forest, which was formerly known as Waltham Forest and covers a large area of the parish, is represented by the Stag and the Crown, an indication that it was a royal hunting preserve.

The River Lea, which forms the western boundary and the King George V Reservoir are represented by the Fountain, an heraldic symbol for water.

The seaxe and the red and white of the mantling are from the arms of the Essex County Council, these colours are also the liveries of the Corporation of London, present controllers of Epping Forest.




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