Waltham Cross

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Waltham Cross
Waltham Cross.JPG
The Eleanor Cross
Waltham Cross is located in Hertfordshire
Waltham Cross
Waltham Cross
Waltham Cross shown within Hertfordshire
Population 7,407 {2011 Census.Ward}[1]
OS grid reference TL360003
• London 12 mi (19 km) SSW
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district EN8
Dialling code 01992
Police Hertfordshire
Fire Hertfordshire
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°41′10″N 0°01′59″W / 51.686°N 0.0331°W / 51.686; -0.0331Coordinates: 51°41′10″N 0°01′59″W / 51.686°N 0.0331°W / 51.686; -0.0331

Waltham Cross is a town in the Borough of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. It lies immediately north of both the M25 motorway and the London Borough of Enfield, approximately 12 miles north north-east of central London. The town is part of the Greater London Urban Area.


The town falls within Hertfordshire's Borough of Broxbourne, the metropolitan area of London, and the Greater London Urban Area, with Waltham Abbey to the east, Cheshunt to the north, and Enfield to the south. The M25 motorway runs immediately south of the town, bordering the area of Freezywater. The Waltham Cross post town includes the neighbouring town of Cheshunt, some northern sections of Enfield, including the Holmesdale Estate. Waltham Cross is the most southeasterly town within the county of Hertfordshire, and has fallen within its Borough of Broxbourne since 1974.


Waltham Cross formed part of the ancient parish of Cheshunt in the Hertford hundred of Hertfordshire.[2] It formed part of Cheshunt Urban District from 1894 to 1974. In April 1974 the town together with Cheshunt and the Hoddesdon urban district councils merged to form the Borough of Broxbourne.[3] The town takes its name from the Eleanor Cross which stands in its centre.[4]

The Eleanor Cross[edit]

At the centre of the town is one of the three surviving medieval Eleanor crosses, a memorial commemorating the over-night resting place of the coffin of Eleanor of Castile, wife of King Edward I, on its processional journey from Lincoln to Westminster Abbey in 1290.[5]

In the early 18th century the monument was surveyed by the Society of Antiquaries of London who, advocating its conservation, printed and illustrated the results in the pages of Vetusta Monumenta[6] in 1721. However, restoration did not take place until 1832, when extensive rebuilding was carried out under WB Clarke. A further major restoration was carried out in 1885–92, and yet another in 1950–53.[7]

The cross is hexagonal in plan, in three stages. The main stage has three statues of the Queen, each standing in a niche under a canopy, while the other three faces have a niche bisected by a buttress. The original sculptures were by Alexander of Abingdon. These have been replaced in the course of restoration, but one of the originals can be seen on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum.[8][9]

Four Swannes sign[edit]

The High Street is spanned by a gantry sign supporting four sculpted swans. It was originally the sign of the now-demolished Four Swans (or "Swannes") public house. The present sign is a replica erected in 2007. The original signs are now kept at Lowewood Museum, Hoddesdon.[10]


The area is served by two railway stations, on different lines in London fare zone 7. Waltham Cross station has services to London Liverpool Street and Stratford via Tottenham Hale with links to the Victoria line. To the north services run to Hertford East or Bishops Stortford.

Theobalds Grove station to the north of the town centre also provides services to London Liverpool street via Seven Sisters which also provides links to the Victoria line. The station and its services are run by London Overground.

There is a bus station in the town centre where many London Buses routes terminate and link with services further out of London.

Notable residents[edit]

Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope lived at Waltham House, Waltham Cross for 12 years between 1859 and 1871, where he wrote twenty-six novels and entertained his illustrious London friends. His home was demolished in 1936 and on the general site now stands a 1930s parade of shops and the Moon and Cross, a J D Wetherspoon public house, decorated with a literary theme.[11]


The town centre includes the pedestrianised High Street with a mixture of chain stores, independent shops and banks; a covered shopping mall and the Fishpools department store, reputedly the 'South-East's largest quality furniture store', which has been in the town since 1899. A busy general market is held on Wednesdays and Fridays, and there are occasional French and farmers' markets.

The 'Park Plaza' site, immediately west of the town adjacent to Junction 25 of the M25, is home to the world's largest printworks. This produces publications for News International including The Sun, The Times and formerly the News of the World. Employing 200 people on a 23-acre (9.3 ha) site to produce 86,000 newspapers per hour on each of its twelve printing presses (a total capacity of over 1,000,000 newspapers per hour),[12] the plant cost £187 million (part of a £650m initiative including plants in Knowsley, near Liverpool, and Motherwell, near Glasgow) and replaced the News International press in Wapping.[13]


The Showground site adjoining Waltham Town Lock on the River Lee was chosen as the site for the Lee Valley White Water Centre for the 2012 Olympics.[14] It was the only new Olympic venue to be open ahead of the Games, and offers the public the chance to follow in the footsteps of the Olympic competitors by taking to the rapids themselves. There is also a Gaelic Football club based in Waltham Cross, St Joseph's (Waltham Cross)


  1. ^ "Broxbourne Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 3 November 2016. 
  2. ^ Hertford hundred Retrieved 29 July 2010
  3. ^ Local history Retrieved 2 September 2010
  4. ^ http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/place_page.jsp?p_id=21129
  5. ^ "The Eleanor crosses". Museum of London. Retrieved 13 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "Hertfordshire Genealogy: Places: Waltham Cross". Retrieved 25 November 2010. 
  7. ^ http://www.heritagegateway.org.uk/Gateway/Results_Single.aspx?uid=157345&resourceID=5
  8. ^ http://www.vam.ac.uk/vastatic/microsites/1265_frost/?m=200611
  9. ^ Lysons, Daniel, The Environs of London:Counties of Herts, Essex & Kent,1796, p.50
  10. ^ "Visitor Attractions and Heritage". Borough of Broxbourne. 
  11. ^ Lowewood museum Retrieved 2 September 2010
  12. ^ "News International unveils 'biggest printing plant in the world', Press Gazette, 14 March 2008". 
  13. ^ "World's biggest print plant opens". BBC News. 17 March 2008. Retrieved 27 April 2010. 
  14. ^ Olympic site moved to Waltham lock Retrieved 14 May 2008

External links[edit]

Media related to Waltham Cross at Wikimedia Commons