Waltham Abbey, Guy Fawkes

Guy Fawkes Weekend, AD 1605
Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey (Essex county)

Guy Fawkes Festival and Fireworks at the Royal Gunpowder Mills, a chance to learn about 17th century life and events, meeting the ghost of Guy Fawkes and celebrating with a spectacular 15 minute firework finale in the unique setting provided by the last surviving gunpowder factory of the United Kingdom...

The Event

Waltham Abbey, a market town located between the River Lea and the Epping Forest in the county of Essex, about 24 km from London, in England, gets its name from the medieval parish and Abbey Church of Waltham Holy Cross, a prominent heritage site which marked the town's early history, and is still used as a parish church. Remains of the ancient abbey include the gatehouse, a vaulted passage, Harold’s Bridge, while according to traditions the area is reputed to host also the grave of Harold II or "Harold Godwinson" (c. 1022-1066), the last Anglo-Saxon King of England until his death at the Battle of Hastings on October 14, 1066 AD, during the Norman conquest of England. His death marked the end of Anglo-Saxon rule over England. There were legends of Harold's body being given a proper funeral years later in his church of Waltham Holy Cross, which he had refounded in 1060 AD.

Waltham Abbey is also home to The Royal Gunpowder Mills, an important industrial heritage site with a remarkable story being established in the 17th century and involved in the production and development of explosives for over 300 years. It is the only site to have survived virtually intact of the three Royal Gunpowder Mills once existing in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (with the ones being located at Ballincollig and Faversham). The Royal Gunpowder Mills site, which stretches over an area of about 175 acres (0.71 km2) of parkland containing 21 buildings of major historical importance, combines history, science, and attractive natural surroundings, illustrating the evolution of explosives and the development of the gunpowder factories through interactive and traditional exhibitions and displays, hosting as well Living History displays and Battle Re-enactments all year round to present the civil and military daily life in the past centuries.

The Gunpowder Plot 1605 AD was a failed assassination attempt against King James I of England and VI of Scotland (1566-1625 AD) by a group of English Catholics seeking to restore a Catholic monarch to the throne. The plotters leased an undercroft beneath the House of Lords and stockpiled there 36 barrels of gunpowder, planning to blow it up during the State Opening of England's Parliament on 5 November 1605. The plot was revealed in an anonymous letter to the authorities. While searching Westminster Palace in the early hours of 5 November, they found one of the plotters, Guy Fawkes (1570-1606 AD), guarding the explosives. He was arrested, questioned and tortured, and eventually he confessed, being convicted of high treason, thus condemned to be hanged, drawn and quartered. Guy Fawkes became synonymous with the Gunpowder Plot, the failure of which has been commemorated in Britain since 5 November 1605. Still today the story of Guy Fawkes is brought to life all over England every year in November, with his effigy being traditionally burned on a bonfire accompanied by a fireworks display. A special celebration is held also at Royal Gunpowder Mills in Waltham Abbey: during the Guy Fawkes Weekend children and adults can enjoy the series of reenactments from the days of the Gunpowder Plot and the atmosphere of the 17th century. Special leisure and educational programs are tailored for children, involving them into history through various workshops and an engaging live-in plays “Ghost of Guy Fawkes”. Dances, music and firework displays complete the festive atmosphere in the evening.

The Programme

Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.

Info & Contact

Association/organization name: The Royal Gunpowder Mills
Address: Royal Gunpowder Mills, Beaulieu Drive, Waltham Abbey, county of Essex, EN9 1JY, England
Tel.: +44 1992707370
Fax.: +44 1992707372
E-mail: info@royalgunpowdermills.com
Web: http://www.royalgunpowdermills.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Royal-Gunpowder-Mills/101934693234439

Image: © http://www.royalgunpowdermills.com
Text sources: Royal Gunpowder Mills, Wikipedia

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