An abbey has stood at Little Coggeshall since 1142. The building shown here, St. Nicholas's Chapel, dates from much later, and has undergone dramatic changes. After the suppression of the abbeys by Henry VIII, much of Little Coggeshall Abbey was pulled down and this chapel, the only surviving building, was converted into a stable with an attached pigsty. It was only restored to its original function as a church in 1860. Little Coggeshall was bombed on 16 September 1940 -- close to the date when Walter Bayes painted this picture -- but only suffered light damage. The abbey emerged unscathed.