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JJ: This is your life

JJ: This is your life

Leading WW2 spitfire ace, Johnnie Johnson, must be Waltham’s most celebrated resident. Although not born in the village, he spent his boyhood here during the time his father was police sergeant, and credited his superb marksmanship to the many hours spent shooting game birds in the surrounding fields. I recently found a video of JJ appearing on This is Your Life. I’ve put a brief excerpt on YouTube. But if anyone would like to borrow the complete DVD, get in touch using the contact page. Click here to view the YouTube...

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Croxton Abbey history

Croxton Abbey history

Walk past the end of Bescaby Lane along a farm track, turn left along a picturesque footpath, and you soon come to Croxton Park on the right. It’s difficult to imagine that this tranquil valley was once home to one of the richest and most powerful abbeys in the region. The abbey once owned most of Waltham. But that ended when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in the 1530s. Now all that remains are a few carved stones balanced on a wall. Click here to read the full history of Croxton...

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Ken’s latest finds

Ken’s latest finds

Metal detectorist, Ken Pritchett’s brings us up to date on his most recent finds in the fields around Waltham. They include some fascinating discoveries, including part of a pocket calendar, 12th century coins minted in the reign of William the Conqueror’s son, a small medieval face (left). And far more mundane articles such as clog fasteners, brooches and belt buckles. Click here to read Ken’s latest...

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Faces from the past

Faces from the past

The litchen-covered stone faces that stare down from the walls of Waltham Church probably date back more than 500 years – to the 14th and 15th centuries. It’s difficult to imagine how different – and difficult – life must have been in those medieval times. I’ve photographed all the faces on the ground level – and some of the ladies are particularly striking. They seem to have been carved in pairs – presumably wealthy husbands and their wives who paid for the privilege of being imortalised in stone. Click here to view the...

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Lud’s entrenchments

Lud’s entrenchments

Featured on the large-scale OS map – beside the road from Croxton Kerrial to Wyville – are the words ‘King Lud’s Entrenchments’. Curious to discover more, I paid a visit to the site last week. A local historian had told me that the farmer had recently cleared the pre-Roman earthwork boundary. And that this was probably the best time to see them. Click here to read...

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The King’s bowels

The King’s bowels

It’s not just the Royal Horseshoes that can boast a royal connection. At a spot close to Croxton Kerrial lie the bowels of King John. The bad guy from all those Robin Hood tales. Click here to read the how the worst bits of one of the worst kings ended up buried on Windmill Hill.

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