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Ancient perspective

Probable burial spot of King Harold, Waltham Abbey, Essex, June 2020

I showed the architectural beauty of Waltham Abbey a few days ago, but I missed part of the story. Taking a more historical perspective, and looking down rather than up, we will find a tombstone marking the spot where King Harold is believed to have been buried after his death at the Battle of Hastings.

There is a battle sorts over this too, as some believe he is buried in Bosham. Bosham was named in the Bayeux Tapestry and when a richly dressed body was found in an Anglo-Saxon grave, many decided that this must be King Harold. I’m sticking with the Waltham Abbey story though – partly because I’ve been there, and partly because Bosham already has the body of King Canute’s daughter.

King Harold did have connections with Waltham Abbey. The church was given to Harold Godwinson (later King Harold), by King Edward the Confessor. Harold actually rebuilt it and it was dedicated in 1060. What we see now now is a later rebuild, but is believed that he was buried at the site of the high altar of his church.

Always a good idea to consider the position of the sun when deciding how to take a photo!



Copyright Debbie Smyth, 13 July 2020

Posted as part of SquarePerspectives

7 replies »

  1. I was interested when you wrote about Waltham abbey a few days ago. I visited Waltham the last time I was in England as I had a friend that lives there. I spent the afternoon looking around the abbey. I saw the suspected tomb of Harold, but who knows. It is a very interesting abbey and I had fun with my camera. Also the village of Waltham is worth a visit.


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