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Waltham Abbey
Town Council
Town Hall
Highbridge St
Waltham Abbey
Essex EN9 1DE

Phone: 01992 714949
Fax: 01992 763774

Town Council Offices Are Open From:
9AM - 5PM
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Honouring the Memory of King Harold

Press Release

Honouring the memory of King Harold

The King Harold memorial stone at Waltham Abbey church has been restored with a new inscription.

The monument is the focus for the annual memorial event commemorating the death of Harold on 14 October, organised by the King Harold Day Society. Bakers of Danbury, the company that did the original work; have generously donated and installed the new inscribed plaque.

The monument was originally installed in the churchyard in 1964 by Reverend Dick Darby. It is a simple block of rough granite, with one small polished space with the inscription “Harold, King of England-obit 1066”.

The  block in front of the memorial stone, (with the inscription “This stone marks the position of the high altar behind which King Harold is said to be buried 1066”) will be cleaned . This marks the spot of the altar, when the church was being rebuilt in the later 12th century; so is not connected to the church Harold built.

On Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 May, Waltham Abbey will be the focus for an archaeological dig by University College London’s Institute of Archaeology and the West Essex Archaeological Group. As a community dig, volunteers will help to undertake test evaluations within the orchard area of the Waltham Abbey gardens.

The digs will investigate the building of the great monastic church of the 13th century and the Tudor house built in the church grounds, following the dissolution of the monastery in 1540. As well as providing training for volunteers in archaeological techniques; the dig aims to increase awareness of the importance of the church to the public, who are welcome to come along while the digs are taking place.

The digs are licenced by the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority as part of their 50th anniversary events.

This is all part of the 950th anniversary events commemorating the death of King Harold at the Battle of Hastings. These events have been made possible by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to a partnership led by Epping Forest District Museum.


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Further information

For further information, images and interviews please contact Tony O’Connor at Epping Forest District Museum on 01992 564986 or aoconnor@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

If you are interested in volunteering and learning more about archaeology contact xx contact number?

Notes for Editors

The King Harold Festival 950 has been a partnership project by the Epping Forest District Museum; The Church of the Holy Cross and St. Lawrence, Waltham Abbey, The West Essex Archaeology Group; The King Harold Day Society and has been supported by Waltham Abbey Town Council.

Epping Forest District Museum

Housed in Grade II* listed Tudor building in Waltham Abbey, the museum tells the story of the district through its collections and displays; and the people and the events that have shaped the Epping Forest district. Entry to the museum is free.  For further information visit www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/museumor call 01992 716882.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/efdmuseum

Twitter: @efdmuseum

Blog: www.efdmuseum.com

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, Heritage Lottery Fund invests money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about including national archaeology, historic parks and buildings, precious memories and collections and rare wildlife.

Visit www.hlf.org.uk or HLF on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.

Waltham Abbey Historical Society

Waltham Abbey Historical Society carried out extensive archaeological and documentary research, without which a lot of the findings would not have been discovered.  The society also provided detailed evidence about the monument installed by Reverend Dick Darby.

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