Boudicca’s Obelisk in the Epping Forest Uplands

Boudicca’s Obelisk

The mythology linking Boudicca to Epping Forest is a strong one – stemming from the 18th Century belief that Ambresbury Banks was Boudicca’s Camp during the time of her rebellion against the Romans. It is also believed that she died somewhere in the uplands north of the Forest, either through eating poison berries or bleeding out into the waters of the Cobbins Brook. The mythology found its way into the landscaping of Warlies Park in 1737 with the building of two obelisks in honour of the Queen of the Iceni – one commanding views of the Lea Valley high on a hill, the other built in brick at the edge of a field near the Cobbins Brook. I passed both obelisks on this beautiful walk that took me from Epping, around the grounds of Copped Hall through Warlies Park (once the home of the Buxtons of Leytonstone) and finishing on the outskirts of Waltham Abbey with a route 66 bus back through the nightime forest to the tube station at Loughton.

 

7 Comments

  1. Philip Avery   •  

    I am currently writing a dramatised history which includes Caesar’s invasion and his defeat of Cassivellaunus a hundred years before Boudicea. My research concludes that his stronghold was in the high wooded plateau of High Beach and Ambresbury, as opposed to the Wheathampstead site further north. If Cassivellaunus was at Ambresbury it is entirely possible that Boudicea chose that site too.

    • JohnR   •     Author

      That’s very interesting Philip – I’d alway heard that the link to Ambresbury Banks was unsubstantiated, the archaeology tends to point to it being an animal enclosure. Where did you find the info about Cassivellaunus? I’d be keen to learn more.

  2. Rene Welling   •  

    Beautiful! I enjoy researching the tales of Boudicca. I am glad to have stumbled across your site and this video. The footpaths you’ve traveled call to me so I must go! Be safe my friend, and thank you.

    • JohnR   •     Author

      Thanks for visiting Rene and I hope you find the paths to the obelisk

  3. Pingback: An expedition to Devil's Dyke & the Lea Valley Walk - the lost byway

  4. Aurel Chamilla   •  

    A fascinating piece of local history. I saw the obelisk from the road when I went on a cycle ride and checked what it was – and found your video.

    I do have to say I find the concept of tresspasing very frustrating. Where I come from, you can walk wherever you want. We don’t build walls and fences, only around houses and gardens. Not around fields and woods.

    Thanks for the video!

  5. Deborah Coles   •  

    Have just watched your video and have thoroughly enjoyed it. I live in Epping. I was sitting with my 92 year old father and he was describing a walk he had done and was saying there were two obelisks in Warlies Park and I searched and chanced upon your site.

    So enjoyed going out of doors. Loved your musings and the history of course. I also loved the accompanying music – so restful.

    I can now go walking with you despite self isolation.

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