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Waltham Abbey Historical Society appeal for drone helicopter for the Human Chain Event on Sat 27th June

Author: Waltham Abbey Historical Society Published: 27th May 2015 18:42

Drone helicopter used in 2014 Human Chain event

Be a part of a unique community history event join the human chain!
The Appeal

Waltham Abbey Historical Society are appealing for drone helicopter owners to come forward and volunteer their time and equipment for The Human Chain event to be held on Sat 27th June 2015 at 10.30am in the Abbey Churchyard and Abbey Gardens. Unfortunately, the drone helicopter used in last year's event met an untimely end in the sea!

So if you own a drone helicopter please get in touch. It would be great to have more than one as a back up and also could provide additional photos from different angles.

Please call Chris Sumner on 078315 95700 to find out more or if you are in a position to volunteer your equipment and services for the morning to be part of this unique history project.

Aerial view photo of 2014 Human Chain from drone helicopter
The Human Chain Event - Sat 27th June 2015

The Abbey was destroyed by Henry VIII, despite the fact it was his favourite Abbey and originally his intention was to turn it into a Cathedral. As part of this arrangement he aquired all of the Abbey's lands as his Hunting Park. Henry rented a private house in Romelands in Waltham Abbey, where the first meeting to set up what eventually became the Reformation, was held to discuss how he could divorce his Catholic wife and marry Anne Boleyn.

Every year Waltham Abbey Historical Society arrange an event for the UK wide Archeological Week part of the Festival of British Archaeology - usually a guided tour of the Church and Abbey grounds by Peter Huggins, but last year they came up with "the human chain" idea to mark out the outline of the walls of the Abbey of Waltham.

The idea started when Peter Huggins gave a talk on the Harold II Church and he got the audience to go outside and stand along the church outlines, Chris thought it was a clever way of explaining, so it was decided to use this idea but on a larger scale. 

The Human Chain Waltham Abbey 2014

Few people are aware of the vast size of the Abbey which was built by Henry II as a penance for his part in the murder of Thomas a Becket.  As a start of the eventual aim to permanently mark out the walls of the Abbey, Waltham Abbey Historical Society (WAHS) Chairman Chris Sumner suggested we should mark out the dimensions using people as bricks and photographing the results from the air.

They hope to attract more people this year and then in 2016 they aim to mark out the walls of all the five churches that have been on the site since the original building in Saxon times. By then we will know exactly how many people we will need.

The Human Chain Waltham Abbey 2014

The monastic Abbey of Waltham was more than four times as big as Waltham Abbey's parish church we know today. It rivalled Westminster Abbey in size and importance. Everything coloured pink in the plan below was demolished in 1540 on the orders of King Henry VIII.

The Human Chain will mark out the walls of the main abbey, shown in dark pink on the plan. Be a part of local history and join the human chain on Saturday 27th June at 10.30am.

Plan showing size of original Waltham Abbey Church 

If you or a group of people you represent are interested in getting involved and volunteering at this event, please email the Historical Society  wa_hist_soc@yahoo.co.uk to let them know numbers attending.

It is free to join in this event and there is free car parking available in Abbey Gardens car park accessed via Abbey View roundabout or Cornmill car park behind the Town Hall. 

The event is being held the same day as the Waltham Abbey Town Show in Town Mead Park, so why not stop off on the way to the show and join in - everyone welcome, all ages - the more the merrier!

For more information this local history society please see: Waltham Abbey Historical Society website

Photographs above by AboutMyArea/EN9 Site Editor Kate Towerzey of the human chain 2014 event. The aerial view photo is taken from a drone helicopter of Waltham Abbey Church grounds by kind permission of Waltham Abbey Historical Society.

Please let the organisers know you found the details of this event on AboutMyArea website!

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