Continuing my resolution not to be sarcastic about Essex!

Bradwell on Sea Travel Blog

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St Peter's again. it's made of left over bricks from the Roman Fort, and normally it is unlocked but today it wasn't.

I had a day off, trapped in Essex, and I was determined not to let it go to waste, staring at my laptop in my parents' living room.  I decided to be a tourist for the day. Dad was back in teh hospital, and I am officially banned from going in unless I promise not to point out all the things that my hospital does better, that are in contravention of good practice, or just irritate me.  Mum's texts made it quite clear that I couldn't make that promise, so it was better if I went in later when things were a bit more settled and there was less I could threaten to "highlight my concerns" about.  So off I went touristing, in my own home peninsula - a tiny little peninsula, home to about a thousand over modified Ford Fiestas and loads of seabirds.

Doug and my Little Orange Car enjoying the view

No, I did NOT break the resolution.  That is absolutely factual. 

There are many other things in the Dengie (referred to by my least favourite ex as the Dingie, framed by the river Backwater - you can see why he gets the least favourite title).  There is a lot of sky, for a start - amazing, huge skies, because there are no hills and precious few buildings.  There are wooden clapboard houses, some sheep, and the oldest church in England, out beyond Bradwell on Sea. 

St Peter's On the Wall was built by St Ced, about a decade after the Romans left, to convert the wild Saxons who had driven the Romans away.  The chapel is made of old bricks and stones he pinched from the walls of the Roman Fort of Othona, which is where the name comes from.  It was a site of pilgramage for a while, with links to the great monasteries at Lindisfarne and in Scotland.

The Beacon, which is either one of the original beacons put up to warn England about the Armada, or a later copy, depending who you speak to. It would have been a great look out point, mind you, but if they were that far up river we would be trouble!
  And then it was forgotten, used as a barn, and rededicated this century.  It's about the size of a house, and it is surrounded by marshes and sea birds.  And an enormous, emormous sky.  It's also the place where I nearly stood on an adder once.  Bradwell also has a tiny little jail, obviously not used any more because it's the size of a shed.  It's a little further inland, in the town itself, and will take you about three seconds to see.  The churches both used to be left open, especially St Peter's which is a couple of miles from the village, the last half mile on foot, but today it was locked.  I just hope that's not permanent, because it was a great little place to come and get your head together if you needed peace, and if the local vandals have forced the church to be locked it would be a real loss.
Bradwell Jail - those are whipping shackles on the door frame.

The Dengie has a sort of ridge up the middle, where you can see the rivers and the barges under sail.  It is as close to a view as... sorry.  There is a really lovely view from the ridge, especially towards sunset, and the view is really quite nice.  There are also other curiosities, such as the sign offering "bull's eggs" for sale, and... OK.  I am out of things to say now.  Oh, there is a decommissioned nuclear power station, and apparently the sea is full of warm water fish because of its cooling systems,  but I don't know if that's still true. 

I think that again, you are unlikely to ever be here, but if you are, it is much nicer than people (and my ex) make out.  Briefly.  It will take about an hour, so it's quite a way out to come otherwise.  Tomorrow I'm going to London.

sarahelaine says:
good point. perhaps if you are in fact sailing down the coast?
Posted on: Apr 15, 2008
londonstudent says:
This is pretty interesting, because hitherto the only thing I've known about Bradwell is that it has an old power station!
And I'm intrigued to know what route from anywhere to anywhere else could possibly take you through Bradwell ...
Posted on: Apr 15, 2008
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Bradwell on Sea
photo by: sarahelaine