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Epping Forest District Museum
Epping Forest District Museum, in the historic market town of Waltham Abbey, is a small museum with big stories to share! Our friendly, experienced team will take you on a journey through local history from prehistoric times to the present day in a wide range of engaging, hands-on history workshops.
Waltham Abbey, easily accessible from junction 26 of the M25, is surrounded by beautiful Epping Forest and the Lea Valley Regional Park. Epping Forest District Museum is where we share the many fascinating stories from this area: King Harold II, the last Anglo-Saxon king of England was thought to have been buried here after the Battle of Hastings; the great Abbey of Waltham was the last abbey to be dissolved in 1540 (on display is the stunning wooden panelling that once lined the walls of the dining room where King Henry VIII came to feast after hunting in the forest); the last V2 rocket of the Second World War fell here, miraculously missing the Abbey Church and historic market centre. We recently worked with Tom Palmer, author of After the War, to create a short story, This is Ben, so we can share the story of young Holocaust survivors who came to live in the district as part of their recovery.
The museum itself is partly housed in a lovely Tudor domestic building dating from 1520. We have over 100,000 objects dating back over 100,000 years of history. Our displays in 5 permanent galleries showcase these stories and give you the chance to see behind the scenes into our storage areas to learn more about the work of a museum. We have trails and family friendly resources including explorer tools and a Victorian play stove to keep younger visitors engaged. Works of art are a highlight of our collections, including work by Lucien Pissarro, Jacob Epstein and Walter Spradbery who was one of London Transport’s most prolific poster designers. Our temporary exhibition gallery has displays that change every 3 months. Recent highlights have included the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.
Self-guided visits and other bookings can be arranged through the week, subject to availability. On Thursdays we offer special History Days for schools on a wide range of curriculum topics. This gives you exclusive use of the museum and the chance for pupils to get hands-on with some very special historical artefacts from mammoth teeth to a Second World War incendiary bomb, as well as developing their historical knowledge, skills and understanding. We particularly focus on developing chronological understanding with timelines and using original sources of evidence to learn about the past. Our friendly, experienced team of education officers welcome groups of all ages and abilities from Early Years Foundation Stage to adults. The building is fully accessible, there’s lunch space, public car parks are available nearby and coaches can drop off next to the museum. Full details of what workshops are on offer and prices are available on our website or contact us to find out more.
Accessible by Public Transport, Disabled Toilets, Guide Dogs Welcome,
Cater for Educational Groups, Coach Parties Welcome, Pre visit Available, Risk Assessment Available,
Baby Changing Facilities, Picnic Site, Shop, Toilets,
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10am to 4pm. School groups welcome any day including Thursday.
Free admission. Prices for group bookings vary – see website for current details.
39-41 Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, Essex EN9 1EL
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