Win an original watercolour of Waltham Abbey

Cornmill stream Waltham Abbey

From Cornmill stream - Credit: James Merriott

James Merriott takes us on a watercolour trip down memory lane as he returns to Waltham Abbey

My much-loved River Lea, the architecture and the history that abounds within the walls of the ancient Abbey are three good reasons to bring me back to Waltham Abbey. King Harold spent much time at the Abbey and it was his final resting place after being killed at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. 

Dominating the Abbey ruins and the surrounding architecture is the magnificent Holy Cross and St. Lawrence Abbey Church, which is beautiful inside and out. In the Abbey Gardens is a memorial to King Harold, as well as access to the Market Place, passing under the archway of the picturesque Welsh Harp Inn. 

Perhaps one of the thrills of my lifetime has been to see the River Lea Country Park develop into a wildlife sanctuary of national, even world importance. Throughout most of my 81 years, I have loved the river, both as my childhood playground and now as a wonderland of local beauty. 

Between Waltham Abbey and Hertfordshire’s Waltham Cross, one can find total tranquillity in the paradise of the many waterways of the ‘sacred’ Lea. Here I remain at my most happy. As Adele said in her song, River Lea, ‘There was something in the water, now that something's in me.’ 
 

Cornmill stream Waltham Abbey

From Cornmill stream - Credit: James Merriott

FROM CORNMILL STREAM

The large trees and the waters of the Cornmill stream frame the Abbey church tower beautifully.
 

Entrance to the cloister Waltham Abbey

Entrance to the cloisters - Credit: James Merriott

ENTRANCE TO THE CLOISTERS  

The open spaces within the Abbey grounds. I thought this a good place to include a couple of people with time to spare.
 

Abbey Gate Waltham Abbey

Abbey Gate - Credit: James Merriott

ABBEY GATE 

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Another view from the Abbey grounds and again a couple included to add a little life to the composition. 


Welsh Harp Inn Waltham Abbey

Welsh Harp Inn - Credit: James Merriott

THE WELSH HARP INN

A striking red, black and white composition, which reminded me of the Red Admiral butterfly.


Welsh Harp Inn from Abbey Gardens

The Welsh Harp Inn from Abbey Gardens - Credit: James Merriott

WELSH HARP INN FROM THE ABBEY GARDENS

The back of this beautiful building, complemented by the lamp post and archway. 
 

The Abbey Church Waltham Abbey

The Abbey Church - Credit: James Merriott

THE ABBEY CHURCH OF WALTHAM HOLY CROSS AND ST LAWRENCE

A wonderful view from Church Street, like all paintings in this feature, swiftly executed to give atmosphere. 


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You can contact James at Cottage Corner Art, 9 Byron Road, Hutton, Brentwood, CM13 2RU. Call 01277 210 728 to make an appointment. 


You may also like to read about Coggeshall: https://www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/homes-and-gardens/places-to-live/visit-the-historic-market-town-of-coggeshall-8870110