Named derives from Old English meaning broad well in antiquity after the well that supplied the local people with an abundance of clear, pure water. Bradwell village now sits astride the A120 east of Braintree. A reminder of the older, slower pace of life is in the tranquillity of the Essex Way, a path that stretches from Epping to Harwich - 81 miles of ancient lanes and footpaths that touch Bradwell close to its early 12th century Parish Church of the Holy Trinity. It is fitting that the A120 road is part of the highway between Italy and Ireland as it once was trodden by Caesar's legion when marching to and from the Roman garrison in Colchester along the Roman Road of Stane Street (A120).
Now it is a major Essex commuter route to the M11 motorway and London Stansted airport. Villagers depend on it to travel to the local market town of Braintree and Coggeshall, and the major shopping centre in Colchester.