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The Lea Valley


Hoddesdon Roydon
Wormley Nazeing
Broxbourne Epping
Cheshunt Loughton
Waltham Cross Epping Forest
Enfield Chingford
Edmonton Walthamstow


 The Lea Valley


East Herts Archaeological Society
The oldest archaeological society in the district, its records and publications go back to 1899. The Society library has an unrivalled collection of journals about archaeology. The group also studies existing and recently demolished historic buildings.

West Essex Archaeological Group
"WEAG has conducted excavations in West Essex since the 1960's: the most important being the Romano-British temple at Harlow. Considerable work was carried out on the Romano-British settlement at the Little London, near Abridge.
"The Group has often worked with WAHS at Waltham Abbey and with Harlow Museum on the 1980's excavations at the Romano-British Temple.
"Currently, WEAG are excavating at Copped Hall, investigating the remains of the 16th Century Tudor Mansion that existed on this site, in conjuction with the Copped Hall Trust. W.E.A.G. has a respected reputation for always publishing reports on its excavations."

MoLAS Lea Valley Mapping Project
"The project aims to create a digital geoarchaeological database of the Quaternary deposits of the Lower Lea Valley, from geotechnical borehole data and archaeological records."
The Lea Valley was very different indeed before the Ice Age deposited gravel all over the place a few thousand years ago. Before this great upheaval, the valley's landscape had a very long history, stretching back one or two million years. This project aims to look under the valley's 'skin' and map the historic landscape as it was then.

Market Gardens in London
From The Environs of London, volume 4, by Daniel Lysons, 1796

Lee Valley Regional Park
Even though its 26 acres cannot vie with Epping Forest's 6,000-odd, this website claims that the Lee Valley Park is "Londonís biggest open space" - but it can be considered the longest one, being 26 miles from one end to the other. This website outlines its many and varied facilities and features.

Lee Valley Park
A personal site by one of its officers, giving a clear and attractive insight into what the LVRP has to offer, though it is a big page with lots of large photos to download.

A Timeline of the River Lee Navigation, 1424-2000
A chronological list of the various Acts and engineers that have influenced and developed the navigable aspects of our valley.

Wikipedia articles:
      River Lee
      River Lee Navigation

County Boundaries (document 1)
County Boundaries (document 2)
County Boundaries (document 3)
The western boundary of Waltham Abbey has been a sore bone of contention throughout history, not least because it tries to follow the very broad and undulating line of the Lea Valley and its numerous water channels. Bits and pieces of this parish are seemingly constantly swapped between Essex and Hertfordshire, and the process is no less confusing in modern times. For an example of some recent 'exchanges' see these links - but have a stiff drink first!

A recording in local dialect
If you're halfway across the world, or even the country, you may wonder what us locals sound like. This link is to a recorded interview of an Epping resident, Epping being only a few miles from Waltham Abbey. The file is in Windows WMA format; there is a link on the page to a player for Mac computers.

What did the Saxons and Normans sound like?
If you couldn't understand the dialect in the above link, then maybe you'll find these sound files a bit easier! Listen to an extract from Beowulf in Saxon, and Le Chanson de Roland in Norman French, courtesy of the Essential Norman Conquest website. They're also available in Modern English!


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 Hertford, Hoddesdon, Wormley, & Broxbourne


The Hundred of Hertford (Victoria County History )

Lowewood Museum
Dedicated to local history within the Borough of Broxbourne, covering Rye Park, Hoddesdon, Broxbourne, Wormley, Turnford, Cheshunt, Goffs Oak, Waltham Cross and the surrounding area. The website includes interesting histories of many of these places.

Lowewood Museum (Hertfordshire Genealogy website)
Written by those with a passion!

Broxbourne & Hoddesdon (Victoria County History)

The Industrial History of Broxbourne
A valuable set of classified accounts of industrial history.

Wormley (Victoria County History )


 Waltham Cross & Cheshunt


Cheshunt (Victoria County History )

Theobalds House
From The Environs of London, volume 4, by Daniel Lysons, 1796

Waltham Cross
From The Environs of London, volume 4, by Daniel Lysons, 1796

View of the Eleanor Cross, Waltham cross, 1790

The Eleanor Cross
An engraving from Old England by Charles Knight, 1845.


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 Enfeild & Edmonton


Enfield (Victoria County History )
With usual VCH diligence, this comprehensive and in-depth study uses 16 pages to cover the history of Enfield's communications, growth, manors and estates, economy and society, local government, churches and religion, education, and charities.
This volume was written fairly recently for the VCH, in 1976, so takes advantage of many 20th century expansions in historical knowledge.

Enfield Archaeological Society
One of the most active local groups which carries out research and fieldwork in the Borough of Enfield and beyond. They have often participated with WAHS on archaeological projects in our vicinity.

Enfield Local History Unit
Effectively a mini-Record Office holding extensive local records of all types, covering the former boroughs of Edmonton, Enfield and Southgate. "Staff with an encyclopaedic knowledge of Enfield and its history can assist and advise enquirers in locating information."

Enfield Public Library, online catalogue

Enfield's History
A comprehensive account of the town's long life.

Enfield Town: A History
A succinct overview of Enfield's historical development, focussing on its trade and commerce, transport and housing estates, and concluding with the town centre's civic facilities.

Enfield's Parks and Gardens
Enfield has 127 parks and open spaces that are available every day of the year, and five registered historic parks and gardens.

Forty Hall
With gardens and a cafť that are open daily.

Capel Manor
Greater Londonís only specialist College of Horticulture, Floristry, Garden Design, Arboriculture, Animal Care and Countryside Studies, Capel Manor is a Georgian Manor House surrounded by 30 acres of richly planted gardens whose themes include Historical, Italianate, and Japanese, amongst many others. Visitors Centre, gift shop and restaurant.

The Royal Small Arms Factory

Enfield in 1795
From The Environs of London, volume 2, by Daniel Lysons, 1795

Edmonton in 1795
From The Environs of London, volume 2, by Daniel Lysons, 1795


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Copyright Waltham Abbey Historical Society, 2007.