An unusual and ambitious project has been hailed as an “enormous success” after its second annual event was attended by almost 400 people.

On Saturday (June 27), members of the Waltham Abbey Historical Society (WAHS) joined with other groups, schools and members of the public to form a huge “human chain” around the historic church in Highbridge Street.

Participants mapped the ancient abbey walls by holding hands in chains around the church gardens.

The human chain was then photographed from the air by a drone operator, who came forward to assist with the project following an appeal in the Guardian.

Volunteer Clive Simpson said: “It was a tremendous success, we had double the number we had last year.

“It was enormously successful, with 350 people at least.

“We actually need at least 1,000 people to fully map the walls, because if you look at the overhead shot there is a great big gap between the church and those people.

“What we hope to do next year is fill that gap.”

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Participants link up to map the ancient abbey walls

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

A symbolic ceremony was held to illustrate how Waltham Abbey became an abbey

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

People line up to form the human chain