There was a Roman fort here. Named Othona, it was one of the Saxon Shore forts, built around the South East coast from Suffolk to Sussex to keep out raiders from what is now Germany.
The East Saxons who gave their name to Essex called their settlement on the site Ithanchester.
St. Cedd, sent from Lindisfarne to evangelise the East Saxons, built the church of St. Peter-ad-Murum on the Roman site, using Roman materials.
This is one of the most astonishing survivals in Britain. The church, built in about 650, is still there, in one of the most remote positions of any church, and still used on occasion for worship.
A mile inland is the present village, with its attractive mediaeval St. Thomas' Church.
Bradwell Lodge, a 16th century house modernised in the early 19th century by John Johnson of Leicester, was the home of the M.P. Tom Driberg.
Nearby is the enormous bulk of Bradwell Power Station.