The chapel of St Peter-on-the-Wall stands on an isolated spot on the coast a short stroll from the village of Bradwell-on-Sea. St Cedd arrived by boat from Lindisfarne in 653, encountering the remains of Othona, an ancient Roman fort which had previously occupied the site. St Cedd built the chapel a year later, modelling the stone structure on the style of churches in Egypt and Syria. Cedd would be recalled to Lindisfarne soon after, his mission deemed so successful he would become Bishop of the East Saxons.
The fort’s location at the far end of the Dengie peninsula had been perfect for the defence of the Blackwater and Colne rivers. Later, smugglers would use the chapel for hiding loot. Today, the chapel is still in use but for more legitimate purposes, with weekly services held throughout the summer. A pilgrimage convenes there each July. It’s even possible to get married here, but permission has to be sought from the Archbishop of Canterbury, no less.