Chapel of St-Peter-on-the-Wall, Bradwell-on-Sea: The 1,350-year-old church in a remote Essex field

The Chapel of St-Peter-on-the-Wall in Bradwell-on-Sea has a fascinating — and very, very long — history.

Beautifully remote, this tiny coastal chapel looks more like an abandoned barn than a place of worship; indeed, its long history includes a spell as a barn in the 18th century.

One of the oldest churches in Britain, it was built in 654 by St Cedd on the foundations of a Roman fort — along its west wall, hence the name. Indeed, St Cedd’s mission in Essex was so successful that he was made Bishop of the East Saxons.

The interior of the chapel, which dates back to 654AD.

Hardy walkers might follow the 45-mile St Peter’s Way that culminates on this sea-whipped spot. The path starts at Chipping Ongar and leads through fallow deer-peppered forests and carpets of bluebells at Thrift Wood (if you time it right), Purleigh Vineyard, wetlands with thousands of Brent geese, saltmarshes and mudflats, within sight of Great Baddow’s famous Second World War radar mast.

See more of Secret Britain

Recommended videos for you