Little Coggeshall - St.Nicholas Chapel
St.Nicholas' was the gatehouse chapel to Coggeshall Abbey and was used by travellers or locals not normally permitted into the abbey. It is the oldest post-Roman brick building in the county, dating from the early 13th century. Like the abbey itself, it was constructed using very fine and highly unusual locally made brick. The bricks (called tiles) were made in the abbey's own kilns at Tilkey (a corruption of tile kiln), and have a distinctive almost black core. Following the Dissolution the chapel was used as a barn/cowshed for hundreds of years. It fell into serious disrepair, but in 1896 the chapel was restored and tiles replaced the thatched roof. These days it is owned by the Diocese of Chelmsford and regular services are held there.