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Historic Anniversary

September 2007 -- King Harold Day is almost upon us once again. This major event, held in Waltham Abbey to mark the anniversary of the death of King Harold, on 14th October 1066, is now in its fourth year. Each year, around 4,500 people attend the festivities and activities. There are many attractions taking place on the day in and around  the Abbey Gardens, the Abbey Church and Churchyard. Click HERE for a taster of what to look out for this year.


Innovation for 2007

Back in King Harold's times, many people would have travelled to and from Waltham Abbey by boat rather than use the primitive paths and muddy trackways. The River Lea has been navigable since prehistoric times, as the many artefacts found along its banks and in archaeological digs have shown, and as graphically revealed when King Alfred outwitted the Danes by blockading the river once they had sailed up it, thus forcing them to escape on foot, carrying their boats across the Hertfordshire farmland, about 160 years before Harold was crowned.

Now, for the first time this year, you can arrive at King Harold Day by river as well! This may well not be the first time a festival in the town has had water transport laid on, but it doesn't happen very often these days, so make the most of it and tell your grandchildren the story!

For further details visit the King Harold Day website, and to book tickets, contact Lee Valley Boat Centre on 01992 462085 or visit


Appeal for a Little Help from Friends

The King Harold Day organizers are appealing for help on King Harold Day.

It is organized by a small group of six people. That is quite sufficient in the months leading up to the event, but many more people are needed on the actual day. Some members of the Abbey Church and other friends are persuaded to help, but more are needed to help make the day a great success.

The sort of help required is acting as stewards, helping at the various admission points, helping to put up gazebos, tents and direction signs, helping with sales in the merchandising tent, and acting as message-takers and runners.

Joint Organizer, Tricia Gurnett, said:- "We are not asking anyone to sit around at endless committee meetings or get involved in a lot of work in putting the event together. What we need is people who are prepared to give us a few hours of help on Saturday 13th October. People who we can rely on to turn up, and get stuck in with whatever needs doing so that we open on time and keep everything going during the day.

"The opening hours are from 10.00am to 4.00pm, and that is when we want help with stewarding and admissions, but we also want people from 8.00am for putting up signs, etc, and for the hour or so after we close to help pack everything away.

"We would be most grateful for any volunteers, and can promise them a busy but very entertaining day.

"Anyone who is prepared to help should in the first instance contact Isabelle Perrichon at Philpott’s Tearooms in Church Street, Waltham Abbey, or, if they are not in Waltham Abbey, could telephone Tricia Gurnett on 01375 374786."


Waltham Abbey Historical Society display

WAHS will be supporting King Harold Day with a photographic display of the Market Square through the centuries, with a stall of interesting local curios to examine and local historical publications for sale. We look forward to meeting you there!

See photos of the WAHS stall at King Harold Day

See our range of Publications


For More Information please Contact WAHS




Copyright Waltham Abbey Historical Society, 2007.