A weekend of events 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.
The Chapel of St Peter-on-the-Wall is one of the oldest largely intact churches in England and stands in splendid isolation on the shoreline at the mouth of the Blackwater Estuary in Essex. 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? Accommodation is available at the Othona Community for those wishing to stay overnight. Day visitors are equally welcome. Meals can be pre-booked, or you can bring a picnic lunch to have on the beach (don’t forget a bucket and spade too).
Flat circular walk along the seawalls, footpaths and rural roads of Bradwell on Sea. Learn about the area’s history and changing landscape, from Roman occupation, through Saxon missionary activity, agriculture and land reclamation, and military activities, to the construction and operation of Bradwell A.
Tickets: Tickets: £10 / £8
All other activities are free and booking is not required. These include:
The afternoon activities (chapel tours, art and poetry workshops, book launch tea, lecture) are free and booking is not required.
Tickets for the In My Steps: Radical Walk are £10 / £8 concessions (Students, Under 27s and Unwaged) and must be pre-booked here.
Overnight accommodation must be pre-booked with Othona. The standard charge is £48 per night, including all meals; there are significantly reduced rates for children. To book visit: othonaessex.org.uk
Lunch and dinner at Othona on Saturday 17th June must also be pre-booked by contacting the Othona Community by email ([email protected]) or telephone (01621 776564). The cost of lunch is £7 and evening meal is £8.50.
About the author
Johanna Dale is a medieval historian based at University College London who lives on the Dengie Peninsula and has a keen interest in the history and heritage of the local area. Kevin Bruce is a local historian who has researched diverse aspects of the local history of the Dengie Hundred since he moved to the area over 50 years ago.
Friday 16 June
7pm: Dinner (for those staying overnight Friday at Othona)
Sat 17th June
8:30am: Breakfast (for those staying overnight Friday at Othona)
10am: In My Steps: Radical Walk – Bradwell, with Johanna Dale and Kevin Bruce – Find out more and book tickets here
1pm: Lunch at Othona (included for those staying overnight Friday at Othona; Day visitors must pre-book)
2-4pm: Parallel activities – Free
1) Drop-in guided architectural tours of St Peter-on-the-Wall chapel with David Andrews and James Bettley (both contributed chapters to the book)
David and James are both experts on the historic buildings of Essex. David is an independent researcher and consultant who spent over 20 years working as an archaeologist and conservation officer at Essex County Council. James is an architectural historian whose publications include the new edition of the Pevsner Architectural Guide to Essex.
2) Eco-poetry workshop with environmental writer & artist Wendy Constance
In partnership with Maldon & District CVS. A fun family drop-in session where you think of words and phrases that reveal your concern for planet Earth and all her inhabitants. Whether it be insects from beetles to butterflies; animals from badgers to rabbits and mice; crabs, fish, dolphins; trees, plants, fungi; shells and pebbles on the beach. Whatever you care about in the natural world.
Compose a sentence or two, then write it on one of the strips of paper. Wendy will collate the strips to weave together at the end of the session, to create a community poem celebrating the natural world. A world we humans share with the more-than-humans. The resulting poem to be recited after the book launch.
3) Art workshop, Nastassja Simensky (co-authored chapter in book) & Angenita Hardy-Teekens
Both Angenita and Nastassja are artists who work in the landscape using observation, sound, photography and natural materials.
In this workshop, open to all ages, we will be working with the landscape surrounding the Chapel of St. Peter on-the-wall to talk about the material and historical composition of land whilst we make Dorodango together.
Dorodango are clay or mud balls rolled with straw and water (and bits of Chapel dust and shale in this case) which are rolled by hand while we talk together. After much rolling and polishing, the simple mud ball starts to look like polished marble. Every Dorodango is different because of its unique relationship to the place where we collect the materials, and so each palm sized ball is like a memento or sample from Bradwell. No prior experience of art or dorodango rolling is required!
4pm: Celebratory tea and book launch – Free
5pm: Lecture on the medieval landscape context of St Peter-on-the-Wall by Prof Stephen Rippon (University of Exeter) – Free
Stephen is a landscape archaeologist and an expert on medieval wetland landscapes in Essex. His most recent book is Territoriality and the Early Medieval Landscape: The countryside of the East Saxon kingdom (2022). In this lecture he will provide an analysis of the early medieval landscape context of St Peter’s, both within Bradwell and the Dengie Peninsula and within the larger folk territory of Deningei, from which the peninsula takes its name.
6:30pm: Dinner (included for those who are staying Saturday night at Othona; day visitors must pre-book)
Sun 18th June (for those staying overnight Saturday at Othona)
11:30am: Tour of Othona’s self-sufficient power etc. systems
12pm: Lunch followed by wild swim (HW is 13:15)