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Waltham Abbey Church, Waltham Abbey

4.5
#5 of 12 in Things to do in Waltham Abbey
Church · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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The Abbey Church of Waltham Holy Cross and St Lawrence is the parish church of the town of Waltham Abbey, Essex, England. It has been a place of worship since the 7th century. The present building dates mainly from the early 12th century and is an example of Norman architecture. To the east of the existing church are traces of an enormous eastward enlargement of the building, begun following the re-foundation of the abbey in 1177. In the Late Middle Ages, Waltham was one of the largest church buildings in England and a major site of pilgrimage; in 1540 it was the last religious community to be closed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. It is still an active parish church for the town.
The monastic buildings and those parts of the church east of the crossing were demolished at the Dissolution, and the Norman crossing tower and transepts collapsed in 1553. The present-day church consists of the nave of the Norman abbey church, the 14th-century lady chapel and west wall, and a 16th-century west tower, added after the dissolution.
King Harold Godwinson, who died at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, is said to be buried in the present churchyard.
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Waltham Abbey Church reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
39 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Beautiful abbey and grounds with plenty of information notices. Volunteers very friendly. Just wish they would allow you in with your dog. 
    Beautiful abbey and grounds with plenty of information notices. Volunteers very friendly. Just wish they would allow you in with your dog.  more »
  • Waltham Abbey town has little to recommend it. Presumably it is too far from railway stations to be a popular commuter town. The Abbey Church is its greatest attraction but it is (amazingly) only... 
    Waltham Abbey town has little to recommend it. Presumably it is too far from railway stations to be a popular commuter town. The Abbey Church is its greatest attraction but it is (amazingly) only...  more »
Google
  • A lovely historic church with associated ruins, supposedly the burial site of King Harold (site at rear of church in graveyard). Free entry and a public car park across the road. Do catch the historic gatehouse as well
  • Came here for a wedding. Church is absolutely breathtaking if architecture is your thing. Priest is quite a character too. I don't do Sunday Mass, but if I did...

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