Waltham Abbey is a suburban market town in the Epping Forest District of Essex, the metropolitan area of London, and the Greater London Urban Area. It has a population of about 21,149. Lying on North East London’s outskirts, it is located 15 miles from central London. It is on the Greenwich Meridian, between the River Lea in the west and Epping Forest in the east, situated north of the London Borough of Waltham Forest and east of the London Borough of Enfield. It is the resting place of King Harold Godwinson, who died in the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
Waltham Abbey takes its name from its former abbey, now the Abbey Church of Waltham Holy Cross, a scheduled ancient monument that was prominent in the town’s early history. The town is within the large civil parish of Waltham Abbey which was known as Waltham Holy Cross until 1974. The parish has a town council and is twinned with the German town of Hörstel.