In Events

Did you know that Essex has its very own Patron Saint? St Cedd is remembered by the Church of England with his own commemoration each year on the 26th of October, which is the anniversary of his passing. St Cedd’s Day is also widely known as Essex Day, as he is the patron saint of our county.

A little history…

Born in Northumbria and raised on the island of Lindisfarne, Cedd arrived in Essex in 654, and began preaching and working to convert the Essex people to Christianity after The King of the Essex Saxons had been converted by the King of Northumberland and requested a priest to be sent to the county to evangelise the people. Also known as the bishop of the East Saxons, Cedd founded many monasteries and churches, of which include the St Peter-on-the-Wall Chapel in Bradwell-on-Sea. He passed away from the yellow plague in 664, and was buried in his place of passing, Lastingham in Yorkshire. 

What is Essex Day?

Essex Day, or St Cedd’s Day, is a wonderful opportunity for us to share and promote everything that makes Essex the brilliant county that it is, both past and present. We are lucky to have such a rich, intriguing history, with many attractions that allow visitors to delve deeper into our heritage and culture. From our beautiful countryside, to our peaceful seaside towns, and Roman cities, Essex has an abundance of activities and attractions for people of all ages, for both residents and visitors. 

What to do this Essex Day

We highly recommend checking out our Heritage and Culture pages for things to do to get into the Essex Day spirit! If you want some further inspiration, here’s a list of some of our favourite attractions and days out in theme with St Cedd’s Day…

St Peter-on-the-Wall Chapel 

Of course, we have to kick this list off with the chapel founded by the Patron Saint of Essex himself. You can find the St Peter-on-the-Wall Chapel in Bradwell-on-Sea, situated at one end of the ‘St Peters Way’ walk. If you do pay a visit, be sure to bring your camera – the view from the chapel boasts stunning scenes of the Essex coast.

Colchester Castle Museum

The largest Norman Keep in Europe, Colchester Castle was build on the foundations of the Roman Temple of Claudius. The museum is a fantastic activity for the whole family to enjoy, with interactive displays and outstanding exhibits that teach you more about Colchester’s exciting history.

Tilbury Fort

Keeping in theme with the history behind Essex Day, Cedd actually founded a monastery in Tilbury! The Tilbury Fort is the best example of its kind in England,  with the first being built here by Henry VIII. Queen Elizabeth I famously rallied her troops nearby to face the threat of the Armada. Explore the magazine houses used to store vast quantities of gunpowder, enter the bastion magazine passages, and learn all about the role that this fort played in the defence of London.

Chelmsford Cathedral

The church of St Mary the Virgin was originally built at the same time as Chelmsford town, around 800 years ago. Since then, it has undergone several refurbishments and partial rebuilds, but the magnificent Chelmsford Cathedral is still a wonder to behold with beautiful stained-glass windows, a tower and spire with thirteen bells, and two pipe organs. The cathedral often celebrates St Cedd’s Day, since being additionally dedicated to Cedd in 1954.

To find more attractions and days out that highlight the heritage and culture in Essex, check out our St Cedd’s Day page under the What’s On section of our website. If you end up out and about exploring and appreciating our beautiful county this Essex Day, be sure to tag us in any of your pictures and use the hashtag #EssexDay2023.




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