Issued: October 7, 2016
PICTURE: A picture can be viewed and downloaded HERE
Mayor and Deputy Mayor greet 1066 March horsemen as they arrive
in Waltham Abbey
Horsemen descended on Waltham Abbey as part of the 1066 March commemorating the 950th anniversary of the hurried march made by King Harold II and his close followers after the Battle of Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire on September 25, 1066.
The horsemen were welcomed by Tricia Gurnett and the Rev'd Peter Smith, from the Abbey Church, and greeted by the town mayor Helen Kane and deputy town mayor Michael Fitch at the Abbey Gateway in the Abbey Gardens yesterday afternoon (Thursday).
All those years ago King Harold stopped at Waltham to pray for victory at the miraculous Holy Cross of Waltham in his Minster Church at Waltham Abbey, which he had founded and continued to endow.
He entered the Church, knelt at the Holy Cross and prayed.
As part of the commemorations, The 1066 March - which set off from Yorkshire last Sunday - reached Waltham Abbey slightly later than planned because of modern day traffic issues on local roads, following a fuel spillage on the M25 near Waltham Abbey.
The horsemen were welcomed by onlookers, and greeted by the welcoming party before taking part in a re-enactment to the rear of the church, the east side, to a spot roughly where the high altar of Harold’s Church would have been.
The horsemen stayed in the town overnight before setting off on their journey this morning, to walk to Hyde Park, London.
Waltham Abbey mayor Helen Kane said: "It was a pleasure to welcome the horsemen to our town and to be part of this historic re-enactment of King Harold's journey.
"Waltham Abbey is steeped in history through its links with King Harold and we look forward to further celebrating and commemorating King Harold at King Harold Day tomorrow (Saturday)."