Monday 26 February 17:30 - 19:30

IAS Common Ground, G11, South Wing
Gower Street

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Book Launch: St Peter-On-The-Wall: Landscape & heritage on the Essex coast

Community & Culture

This book uncovers the pre-modern contexts and modern resonances of this medieval building and its landscape setting.

The launch comprises a panel of the book’s contributors, chaired by the editor, which will discuss the importance of the chapel and its landscape through time, followed by a response from Prof Bob Mills (UCL History of Art).

Panel participants: Dr Johanna Dale (UCL History); Charles Holland (Charles Holland Architects and Professor of Architecture at UCA, Canterbury); Ken Worpole (writer and social historian); Dr Andrew Pearson (Cotswold Archaeology); Prof Barbara Yorke (University of Winchester); Dr James Bettley (architectural historian); Gillian Darley (author and broadcaster).


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 the recently published designs 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 (May 2023, UCL Press) 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.

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