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 The Town

 

Victoria County History:
      Topography and Manors
      Local Commerce and Government
      The Hundred of Waltham
The VCH is perhaps the most comprehensive history yet written of our town and district.

Epping Forest District Museum
Sited in Sun Street in the centre of town, this Museum serves the whole of the Epping Forest District. It is a valuable resource for the town with regularly updated displays and a pro-active policy.

A Vision of Britain: Waltham Holy Cross
An analysis of the parish with maps, statistical trends and historical descriptions covering the last two centuries.

Frith's Photographs of Waltham Abbey
A delightful collection of early 20th Century local views.

Waltham Abbey's Whipping-Posts and Stocks
A print from an old book of the post and stocks, bearing the date 1598, which are currently housed in Waltham Abbey's Epping Forest District Museum.
If you've viewed the whipping post there recently, you may have wondered what the single hole near the top was for. Well, this print is historically invaluable for it shows how that hole was originally used to secure the whipping-post, via an iron bar, to one of the timber pillars of the old market-house. A low bench is also shown in front of the pillar, for use with the stocks.

After the market house was demolished, the whipping post was given a new home in the west entrance to the Abbey Church - the congregation must have found that very welcoming indeed on Sunday mornings! Curiously, the print was made long after the market-house was pulled down, in the 1850s, so where did the artist get his information from?

The History of Waltham Abbey, by William Winters (The Internet Archive)
A complete downloadable copy of Wintersí The History of the ancient parish of Waltham Abbey, or Holy Cross (first published 1888). Available in either PDF or DJVU format (broadband advisable), or in plain text for slower internet connections.
Our WAHS Millennium Project No. 10 reproduces an unpublished manuscript version of this work.

The History and Antiquities of Waltham Abbey, by John Maynard (The Internet Archive)
A complete downloadable copy of Maynard's The Parish of Waltham Abbey, its History and Antiquities (first published 1865). Available in either PDF or DJVU format (broadband advisable), or in plain text for slower internet connections.

The History of Waltham Abbey, by Thomas Fuller (Google Books)
An online copy of Fuller's The History of the University of Cambridge: And of Waltham Abbey (first published 1665, this copy taken from the 2nd edition of 1840). Available in either PDF or DJVU format (broadband advisable), or in plain text for slower internet connections.

The History of Waltham Abbey Football Club (link now working)
A well-written and informative account of our local football team, and its grounds (Capershotts, south of the cemetery on Sewardstone Road). "Waltham Abbey Youth Club first played football at Capershotts during the Second World War. It is not known however at the time of writing how the club derived from a Youth team in 1944 into the Abbey Sports set up it was to become."

The history of football in Waltham Abbey does, of course, go back much further than that of its official Club. The plaque in this photo, for example, reads "High Beech Ath. (Essex A.F.A.) Waltham and District League, 1923-24." (Click on the pic to enlarge it.) Standing second-from right in the back row is Francis Herbert Greenall, who was born at Waltham Abbey in November 1907. Two of his grandchildren are current WAHS members. (Happy 100 years, Grandad!) Note the two groundsmen having a natter in the distance, just visible between the 2nd and 3rd figures from left in the back row.
If you can put names to anyone else in this photo, please let us know!

Waltham_Abbey_F.C. (Wikipedia)
A little outdated, as it speaks of some seating that "will be installed during the summer of 2005".

Waltham Abbey Methodist Church, Monkswood Avenue
Now the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Thomas More and Saint Edward, this photo is accompanied by brief architectural and historical details.

Waltham Abbey Vicarage
Careful architectural notes on this late 16th or early 17th century L-shaped building, dating various features to different centuries, and briefly discusses two of its 17th century residents (Joseph Hall and Thomas Fuller).

Waltham Abbey Pubs (historical records)
A comprehensive online encyclopaedia of Waltham Abbey pubs in history. This website also has details of pubs and churches across Essex, and lots more besides.

Waltham Abbey PASTSCAPE (English Heritage)
An overview of the surviving national monuments in and around our town, with links to detailed records of each feature, modern and historic maps, photographic records, a list of sources, and visitor information. Clicking on the "Investigation History" link will produce a list of every archaeological dig made in this town from 1954 to 1999, with details of who conducted it, and where records and finds were lodged.

The Archaeology of Medieval Essex Towns (Essex County Council)
An article by M R Petchey of the Planning Department (Archaeology section), examining the 24 medieval Essex towns that could be described as "urban settlements", including Waltham Abbey. "The essential factors that identify a medieval urban settlement are the possession of a market, and a population that owns little land in relation to its wealth and makes a living from non-agricultural pursuits." Note that this link leads to an Adobe Acrobat PDF file.

Waltham Abbey Town in directory entries:

Pigot's Directory 1822-23
Reveals much about what our town was like in the early 19th Century.

The Penny Magazine 1837

White's Directory, 1848 (Historyhouse website)

White's Directory, 1848 (Essex Pubs website)
A little-known but well-written directory listing.

Wikipedia
This online encyclopaedia is open to submissions, editing and updating by anyone who cares to log on - which often gives a dynamic edge to its entries.

Picturesque Waltham Abbey
From Picturesque England: Its Landmarks and Historic Haunts as Described in Lay and Legend, Song and Story, by L. Valentine, first published in 1891. The rest of the book is here.

What to see in Waltham Abbey
From What to see in England;: A guide to places of historic interest, natural beauty or literary association, by Gordon Home (A & C Black, 1903).

The Arms of Waltham Abbey Town Council
A detailed description and explanation of the Council's coat-of-arms.

Waltham Abbey Webshots
Hundreds of uploaded photos taken in and around modern Waltham Abbey. There's good and bad here, but some of the good ones are quite nice! Useful if you want a general idea of how the district looks today.

 

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Copyright Waltham Abbey Historical Society, 2007.