Johanna Dale's St Peter-on-the-Wall: Landscape and Heritage on the Essex Coast

5 April 2023

A weekend of events from 16 - 18 June to celebrate the launch of St Peter-on-the-Wall: Landscape and Heritage on the Essex Coast edited by Johanna Dale, kindly hosted by the Othona Community at Bradwell on Sea.

St Peter on the Wall countryside image and old building

The Chapel of St Peter-on-the-Wall, built on the ruins of a Roman fort, dates from the mid-seventh century and is one of the oldest largely intact churches in England. It stands in splendid isolation on the shoreline at the mouth of the Blackwater Estuary in Essex, where the land meets and interpenetrates with the sea and the sky. This book brings together contributors from across the arts, humanities and social sciences to uncover the pre-modern contexts and modern resonances of this medieval building and its landscape setting.

The impetus for this collection was designs put forward in early 2020 for a new nuclear power station at Bradwell on Sea, which, if built, would have a significant impact on the chapel and its landscape setting. St Peter-on-the-Wall highlights the multiple ways in which the chapel and landscape are historically and archaeologically significant, while also drawing attention to the modern importance of Bradwell as a place of Christian worship, of sanctuary and of cultural production. In analysing the significance of the chapel and surrounding landscape over more than a thousand years, this collection additionally contributes to wider debates about the relationship between space and place, and particularly the interfaces between both medieval and modern cultures and also heritage and the natural environment.

The book will be launched with a day of free public events on 17 June 2023 as part of the Essex Book Festival, kindly hosted by the Othona Community. Visitors to Bradwell will be able to explore the chapel with guided tours from architectural historians David Andrews and James Bettley, listen to a public lecture on Bradwell’s medieval landscape by Prof Stephen Rippon (Exeter), and take part in two family-friendly creative workshops, on poetry writing and dorodango making, thanks to generous funding from the Essex Book Festival. To find out more about the book itself please visit the UCL Press website: https://www.uclpress.co.uk/collections/contact-151874/products/211164.

From 16-18 June, all have the chance to explore the chapel and its landscape setting through walks, workshops and talks. All ages are welcome and there are free creative activities for children.

Why not bring the whole family and spend the weekend enjoying the atmospheric Dengie Peninsula coast? 

Full event details