17th February 2018
via Copped Hall and High Beach
|Epping Copped Hall High Beach Waltham X Abbey Features Postscript Read Me|
Our Saturday walk from Epping to the outskirts of Waltham Cross was ably led by John C. The company was good! The sunny weather was good for walking and the paths were not too muddy!! In view of the transportation challenges on a Sunday (e.g. Engineering Works on the mainline from Liverpool Street) the location of the walk and the later start of 11:00 am was much appreciated! The distance we covered, by my humble measurements, was about 10.10 miles (16.26 Km). Had we reached Waltham Abbey, this figure would have risen to 10.77 miles (17.34 Km).
We set out from Epping at the end of the Central Line. Next, we savour the open countryside and see the running deer - parents and offspring. Then we pass by Copped Hall which has an interesting history and is presently being renovated/rebuilt by the Copped Hall Trust. High Beach (NOT High Beech so John reminded us!!) - with its motorised weekend day trippers and snack outlets is next on our agenda. Then it's cross-country to the housing estates - seemingly fashioned in the "brutalist" architecture much favoured in the fifties and sixties - of Waltham Cross. We don't quite make the historical and cultural gem that is Waltham Abbey - but perhaps that's for another time when the days are longer. Homewards we then all go, refreshed by a good day's exercise.
We start out from Epping Station, which, as most of us know, is the present (north eastern) end of the Central Line. The station was built in 1865 by the Great Eastern Railway (GER) and still retains its Victorian architecture. At the station, vintage London buses to North Weald and to Ongar connect at these two stations with the "Epping Ongar" heritage railway (EOR). The EOR has featured as part of other CLOG walks. Epping Station is the start of the Essex Way to Harwich, all 81 or 82 miles of it.
Anyway, we all meet up for a reasonably prompt departure. The 11:00 start was much appreciated by all. No rushing to set off from home in the early twilight hours! Thank you, John, for responding to our wishes for a leisurely start!
We subsequently come to Copped Hall, which dates from the mid-18th Century and was gutted by a fire (not enemy action!) in 1917. It is presently being renovated/rebuilt by the Copped Hall Trust who acquired its freehold in 1995. We gaze at the gaunt edifice and then walk on through the woods to the Gate House, where we have our respective packed lunches.
High Beach (NOT High Beech so John reminded us!!) - with its motorised weekend day trippers and snack outlets was next on our agenda. On the way we passed a fine view point with views out towards the west and to Waltham Cross.
Then it was cross-country to the housing estates - seemingly fashioned in the "brutalist" architecture much favoured in the fifties and sixties - on the outskirts of Waltham Cross. From the housing estates we take a bus to the centre of Waltham Cross, from where homewards we all go, refreshed by a good day's exercise.
Another ⅔ mile and we would have reached Waltham Abbey! I visited it on Thursday 12th March 2009 on my 9.35 mile (15.05 Km) walk from Enfield Lock Station (Zone 6) to Epping Station (Zone 6) via Breaches Farm and Breach Barns, both to the north of a conceptual line between Waltham Cross and Epping Station.
The Abbey is a cultural and historic gem bound up with the crosses placed throughout the land, crosses which indicated the resting places of the coffin of Queen Eleanor on her last journey from the north to Westminster Abbey. From Wikipedia® we learn that the present Abbey Church of Waltham Holy Cross and St Lawrence is an example of Norman architecture and dates mainly from the early 12th century. In 1540 Waltham Abbey was the last abbey in England to be dissolved by Henry VIII.
Thanks John for leading this walk. Thanks to all for your company. Thanks to the Weather Gods for the sunny, if cold, weather. We all had good exercise!