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Waltham Abbey
Town Hall, Highbridge St, EN9 1DE

Performance in the Town Hall

Tuesday 5th December 2017

Be transported back to medieval world of Queen Eleanor and Edward 1st and the court of King Arthur as we weave together the real history of Queen Eleanor, and a legend of Camelot. In 1290 Eleanor died near Lincoln, and her body was taken back to Westminster in a splendid cortège, a heartbroken Edward following behind his Queen, accompanied by hundreds of members of the royal household. The Cortège passed through the lands she owned allowing her tenants and stewards to pay their respects. Eleanor’s body rested overnight in the Abbey on Wednesday December 13th. Edward left the cortege around this time to allow his Queen to enter the City of London alone, to be acknowledged in her own right and power. In the years following her death Edward ordered the best craftsmen in the land to build 12 stone crosses in the places Eleanor’s body had rested overnight stretching from Lincoln to Westminster.


The Waltham Abbey cross can still be seen although it has been much restored. Stewkley, the Victorian historian, describes a certain Mrs Robinson whose house was so close to the cross she broke down some of the cross to make way for the roof! Later the pub The Four Swans (later The Falcon) was built so close to the cross that it It was constructed in co-operation between an architect and a sculptor; Roger of Crundale, who was the senior royal mason, and the sculptor Master Alexander of Abingdon.  The original statues of Eleanor were replaced by replicas during the last major restoration in the 1950s. The original statues were initially kept for at Cheshunt Public Library, but can now be seen in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Through the ancient art of storytelling you will enter Edward and Eleanor’s world, seeing the contradictory and glorious powerhouse she was: property magnate, mother, lover, bookworm, huntress, crusader and chess champion. This dramatic, tender and captivating performance is touring the monument locations – come and be part of the story!

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