Cornmill Stream - Waltham Abbey
The Cornmill Stream flows south and west to join the River Lee
Cobbins brook flows south and west through the area towards the River Lee
Post to the north Waltham Abbey
Post to the west Waltham Abbey
Post to the east Waltham Abbey
Post to the south Waltham Abbey
The Abbey dates from the time of Tovi, a Danish chief, and associate of King Canute. Tovi is said to have found a cross in Somerset which he brought here and founded a church to house it.
There was a Saxon church here in 610 which Edward the Confessor gave to Harold, afterwards King. Harold founded a college of secular canons here. It is though he was buried here after the Battle Hastings. Henry II converted it to an Augustinian priory after the murder of Becket. This became an Abbey in 1184 - it became a powerful and wealthy institution dominating the area around it and beyond. The building was destroyed at the dissolution but the parochial area of the church nave remains as the parish church. The estate was given to the Denny family, Earls of Norwich.
Abbey Church. The church was retained for the town after the dissolution and the nave and aisles are from the 12th. Local people built the tower in 1556 after it has ceased to be the Abbey church – and probably using stone from the Abbey. It now has twelve bells, and a clock. Inside the walls are plain with a painted ceiling copied from Peterborough in the 19th. The windows are by Burne-Jones. There are wall painting and a stone figure Madonna of 1400, found in a local garden. The nave columns have chevron decoration. The church was restored in 1960-4.
Viking Hall. Immediately north of the church have been found remains of what has been called The ‘Viking Hall’. It is thought to have been a hunting lodge and is associated with Tovi and the Holy Cross. Excavation has shown a late-Viking turf-walled hall of aisled construction, plus pits, gullies and a linear ditch
King Harold’s grave. To the east of the church, two stones mark the site of the high altar where King Harold is said to have been buried, along with his brothers, after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. There is however considerable doubt on this.
The Abbey site is behind the church, and there are few remains. The crossings and transepts of the church are marked in the grass while the domestic buildings were to the north and north-east. An infirmary was built within the abbey precinct circa 1218 and this with a guesthouse and brew house have been identified by excavations. A Medieval aisled building was also discovered during excavations.
Abbey Gateway. This has two arches - one for vehicles, one for pedestrians and a turret is also left from what was once a bigger building. Inside the wall is made up of hand-made medieval red bricks, and is thus one of the earliest brick walls in Britain.
Precinct Wall. This wall would have surrounded the Abbey. They had been licenced to crenellate it in 1369. The wall was mostly destroyed but a length of 16th wall survives to east of the church.
Stoney Bridge. This single arch bridge crosses the Cornmill Stream. It was built in 1370 for goods transport into the Abbey precinct. A causeway links it to another bridge to the north. There are vaulted ribs under the bridge. It is often, wrongly, called "Harold's Bridge".
Cloister Entry. This is a late 12th stone-built passageway with a vaulted roof which led from the outer court into the cloisters. The stairs probably led to the dorter. At one time this was known as the Midnight Chapel and in the 1930's it was used by local farmers as a potato store
Cloisters. These were four walks once roofed and paved.
Orchard wall . The stone wall on the south side of the orchard was built by the Dennys.
Chapter House. Excavation has revealed a rectangular building with a floor of decorated tiles. Several abbots were buried here. It would have been accessed from the cloisters and was used for meetings and business transactions. The north wall was used as the south wall of Abbey House.
Abbey House. This was an Elizabethan mansion and garden built by Edward Denny, who had been given the Abbey estate, about 1590. It was demolished in the 1770s. The moat remains. Survives along with some buttresses which were mainly ornamental. Brick features indicate the positioning fireplaces and windows. This house incorporated the north wall of the Chapter House as its south wall.
Brick Pillars. These date from around 1700 and were part of the southern gateway to Abbey House. They are fine-jointed, with no mortar between the bricks.
Sewers. There is an opening to the Abbey sewers which form an underground network
Moat. This is a large rectangular are which was probably dug in the 17th as a garden feature for Abbey House., The meridian line passes through it.
Bloomery floor. This forge would have provided metalwork for the Abbey and the Grange between the 11th and 15th... It was a three-bay aisled building with flint walls with its own well. The large square areas were for smiths' hearths, and the smaller ones roof supports. The meridian line passes over it.
Meridian Line – this passes between the moat and the cloisters and then goes straight through the Rose Garden where a steel arch forms the Meridian Gateway - with moon, stars and giant red sextant.
Abbey Church Centre – information and community hub in what was the Lee Valley Park Information Centre which has now closed.
Wormley – a conduit system brought water to the Abbey from springs in the Wormley area.
By pass road built in the 1970s.
Grange. The Abbey farmed on an extensive scale. The Great Barn, which was one of the largest in the country, stood with the farm buildings under the site of Abbey View and the roundabout.
Part of the Abbey wall and its buttresses lie along the road
Known c.1600 as Water Street
1 Lychgate House. This is a 16th building facing the churchyard with some pargeting – the only example in the town - and weather boarded ground floor. If this is taken together with the Welsh Harp it makes up four buildings with a separate gateway. The house has at its core a building of around 1400, which may have been a priest's house. At the west end is an original 17th chimneystack.
Welsh Harp. Part of the same building group as Lychgate House. Part dates from the 16th but much of it later rebuilt later.
2 19th shop front with steps to the door on a 15th building. Colour washed with a roughcast front, and the first floor protruding with a carved fascia over the window. It has a carriage entry. There are some older structures at the back.
3 Built around 1500 and of a high quality.
4 19th shop front on a 15th building.
This may have been built before 1086 to serve the mills mentioned in the Domesday Book.
Long Pool. This was built around 1581, when part of the Lower Mill Stream was filled in and the Cornmill Stream only supplied the water to run the double mill at the Abbey gates. In 1581 the navigation route was set up using the Cornmill stream and then through a flash lock into the Long Pool and back into the River Lea. In 1590, when the passage of the Lea itself was recut
Dock – excavation at the south end revealed the remains of a large timber and planked dock.
Pound Lock. This was built in 1577 on a cut between the Corn Mill Stream and the Old Barge River it was built and lined with timber and had mitre gates at each end, making it probably the first mitre-gated pound lock in the country. It was completely destroyed in 1592
Mill site north of Highbridge. Twin mill-races are all that remain of the water mills which ground corn until the early 20th. The Abbot's mill is mentioned in 1482, and there were two mills under one roof in 1528. The mill was demolished in 1906.
Brick Wall. This is long and much rebuilt but it is partly part of the Abbey precinct wall form the 15th. A cross with a stepped base symbolising the Holy Cross of Waltham.
46 Community Centre – smashing little art deco building which doesn’t seem to be listed.
Farm Hill Road
Cobbinsbank - retirement homes on the site of Waltham Abbey War Memorial Hospital.
Waltham Abbey War Memorial Hospital was opened in 1921 by Prince Henry, Paid for by public donations and built as the town's war memorial to those killed during the Great War. It had 8 beds dealing with surgical cases –but like other cottage hospitals, it did not admit people with alcoholism, mania, epilepsy, or contagious diseases. In 1932 it was extended to 16 beds and new staff quarters plus an Out-Patients Department with an X-ray Department had been built. In three Second World War it was part of the Emergency Medical Service. A new building was opened in 1948 and The Hospital joined the NHS in July 1948 dropping the word 'Cottage' from its title. By 1950 it was a GP hospital with 24 beds, it closed in 1980 with 21 beds and, was demolished in 1984 and sold to developers
War Memorial plaques from the Hospital stand in a small park on the corner of Honey Lane. These were previously in the waiting hall of the Out-Patients Department where an annual service was held. The foundation stone, is also included here
Larson Social Club. Hans Ove Larsen was a Danish born nursery owner. He owned land here and gave the hospital site to the town
Larsen’s Recreation Ground. Sports facilitates here date from the 1920s and were provided for workers in the Larsen nurseries.
Green Man Pub. The pub dates from the mid-18th but was rebuilt in the 1880s.
12 A timber structure probably of late 17th century date contains two good moulded beams (re-used); its east wall (originally the west wall of the building next door) retains a substantial piece of earlier timber-framing.
2–4 This was the Cock Inn which was first recorded in 1533. It later became a coach stop, and was rebuilt in 1894. Tiles include the date and the figure of a cock
12 17th timber building.
14-16 small 19th shop fronts on a stucco building with weather boarding at the back.
Waltham Abbey Town Hall. Art Deco for the Urban District Council of 1904. Built by John Bentley Builders. There are two arched doorways by the front door which were for the local volunteer fire brigade’s horse drawn engine. In 1923 this was replaced by a motor engine
Vicarage. This is a 17th L-shaped timber- framed house, built in the local tradition. Joseph Hall, afterwards Bishop of Exeter and Norwich, lived here 1612-34. And Thomas Fuller, cleric and historian, lived here 1649-57. It may be the house given as a house for the curate by the Earl of Norwich in 1637.
Constructed to relieve Church Street of traffic 1960
Lower Mill stream
Thought to have been built to run the mill mentioned in Domesday
The medieval market-place developed within a rectangular enclosure – Eldeworth. This enclosure may pre-date the market-place and it may have been a boundary to a late Saxon settlement. There is a record of consent for a market in 1189, and this has taken place on Tuesdays ever since 1560. The line of the Market Square moved southwards, a new terrace of shops built c.1960 when Leverton Street was built as a bypass.
The Cage - the Abbot’s prison- was here.
13 The Queen's Arms Public House. This is a 17th timber framed building with its Ground floor below present street level. At one time this was the Bull's Head
20 16th timber-framed building. There is one single door and another double carriage door. It has a "dragon beam,” which is now not visible and which helped construction on a non-rectangular site.
21 Green Dragon. 18th front on an older, timber-framed building, which is probably 16th with old cellars below. There is a moulded beam reused as a fireplace lintel in the lounge bar. On the front wall is a plaque commemorating the Market House
Market House - this was built about 1670, and demolished in 1852. The Moot Hall, built after 1250, stood on the same site and its outline is marked out on the ground.
22- 23 19th intrusion
25 modern shop front on a 16th timber framed building
The Roman Catholic Church of Saint Thomas More and Saint Edward.
19TH Stone and red brick church. This was built as a Methodist
Baptist Chapel. There were non-conformists in Waltham Abbey for many years meeting at Theobald’s. In the late 1720s 24 agricultural workers and tradesmen raised the money to build a Meeting House which was on the site of the front garden of the present Chapel. By 1836 the Chapel was dilapidated Churches all over the country made contributions for a new building which opened in 1836.
Friends Meeting House. In 1654 George Fox visited Waltham and Shortly after Fox’s a Quaker meeting was established in a lane leading off the Sewardstone Road. The meeting was closed in 1817 and the meeting house was used by the British School. It was demolished in 1844
Waltham Holy Cross Primary School
Excavation here showed that the area had been a swamp until the 12th when the ground was raised. The area lost many old buildings in the Second World War
4 Crown Pub. The building is 17th or earlier. In the centre is an artesian well, 50 metres deep, sunk in 1878. It once had a lamp above it.
Reformation House – destroyed in the Second World War. It is thought that this may have been built on the site of a medieval stone mason’s yard. There was a house on the site thought to have had a connection with Cranmer.
Waltham Abbey Swimming Pool
Tudor Cross pre school
Formerly the exit from the Market Square which changed after Leverton Way was built.
Fountain Place. Post-Second World War housing redevelopment with arched entrances to reflect the character of old Waltham.
Spotted Cow. Small 19th public house, with fine ceramic panel of the said spotted cow.
2-3 16th house in colourwashed brick with stucco on the first floor. It has exposed timbers and was probably originally a farm house for open land at the back.
Thrift Hall, 19th house pebble dashed
Thrift Cottage. 17th house pebble dashed
15-16 two 18th houses in brown brick, three storeys with dummy windows.
Waltham Abbey Football Club. The ground is called Capershotts and they have played there since the 1940´s amalgamating with other local clubs. Floodlights and a 200-seater stand built with seats, purchased from Manchester City´s Stadium, were installed early 21sr.
Cemetery – Run by the local authority, with red brick 19th chapel and lodge
LidL, on the site of a defunct car salesroom
Fire Station, post war
Tesco. Site of Pan Brittanica chemical works who made baby bio among other things.
Formerly called Elford Street is one of the old streets of the town and is likely to be on the line of a Roman road
20 Essex House, Chequer brickwork house dated to 1722 on the rainwater heads plus initials ‘IWS’. Now flats. In the 19th it was the home of poet Samuel Howell,
Salvation Army citadel
Essex Army Cadet Force hut
1 16th building with plaster on a timber framework, there is a bracket with a possibly female figure (or maybe hermaphrite) carrying a jug. This was part of the Greyhound inn.
1-5 four distinct buildings; part of it was the Greyhound Inn, mentioned in 1648. The two buildings at the far end have jetties
3, 3a, 3b.Builldings which have been separated and joined at various times. The older is part is 16th with a timber frame and plastered. The other is 17th with an 18th front
11 White Lion. The name is a reference to the badge of Edward IV
14 18th building with 19th shop front in whitewashed brick
16 19th shop front on an older building in whitewashed brick
18 & 18a modern shop front on an older building, pebble dashed,
19 building with an original 19th shop front in painted weather boarded front with a contemporary door and window-frames. Carriage entry has been closed.
17-20 Meridian line in the pavement between them.
21 Sun Inn. Timber-framed building which is first mentioned in 1633. It gave the name to the street, which was previously East Street.
24 modern shop front on an 18th building in red brick but with a timber frame. There is a wagon way alongside.
24a- 26 19th brick shop front on an older building with a Central carriageway.
28 19th front on an earlier building
33 19th front on an earlier building.
34-36 This has a 19th shop front on an older yellow brick building. It was a doctor's house in the 19th
35 Police Station. Built in 1874, it breaks the street line.
38 19th shop front on older building
39-41 Epping Forest District Museum. Although the street front is an imitation, this is timber-framed. 41 is early 16th century date with an 18th garden front.
40 -42 19th front in yellow brick. This was once the Ship Inn.
44 timber-framed house early 17th which originally extended as far as the Angel, and had a carriageway to the yard at the rear.
55 New Inn rebuilt 1896, a large and elaborate building
Town Mead Recreation Centre. Opened 2010