Harwich
Overview
 
Harwich is a town in Essex
Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 and one of the Haven ports
Haven ports
The Haven Ports are a group of five ports on the East Coast of England, these are Port of Felixstowe, Port of Ipswich, Harwich International, Harwich Navyard and Mistley...

, located on the coast with the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 to the east. It is in the Tendring
Tendring
Tendring is a local government district in North East Essex, England. It extends from the River Stour in the north, to the coast and the River Colne in the south, with the coast to the East and the town of Colchester to the west. Its council is based in Clacton-on-Sea. Towns in the district...

 district. Nearby places include Felixstowe
Felixstowe
Felixstowe is a seaside town on the North Sea coast of Suffolk, England. The town gives its name to the nearby Port of Felixstowe, which is the largest container port in the United Kingdom and is owned by Hutchinson Ports UK...

 to the northeast, Ipswich
Ipswich
Ipswich is a large town and a non-metropolitan district. It is the county town of Suffolk, England. Ipswich is located on the estuary of the River Orwell...

 to the northwest, Colchester to the southwest and Clacton-on-Sea
Clacton-on-Sea
Clacton-on-Sea is the largest town on the Tendring peninsula, in Essex, England and was founded in 1871. It is a seaside resort that attracted many tourists in the summer months between the 1950s and 1970s, but which like many other British sea-side resorts went into decline as a holiday...

 to the south. It is the northernmost coastal town within Essex.

Its position on the estuaries of the Stour
River Stour, Suffolk
The River Stour is a river in East Anglia, England. It is 76 km long and forms most of the county boundary between Suffolk to the north, and Essex to the south. It rises in eastern Cambridgeshire, passes to the east of Haverhill, through Cavendish, Sudbury and the Dedham Vale, and joins the...

 and Orwell
River Orwell
The River Orwell flows through the county of Suffolk in England. Its source river, above the tidal limit at Stoke Bridge, is known as the River Gipping. It broadens into an estuary at Ipswich where the Ipswich dock has operated since the 7th century and then flows into the North Sea at Felixstowe...

 rivers and its usefulness to mariners as the only safe anchorage between the Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

 and Humber
Humber
The Humber is a large tidal estuary on the east coast of Northern England. It is formed at Trent Falls, Faxfleet, by the confluence of the tidal River Ouse and the tidal River Trent. From here to the North Sea, it forms part of the boundary between the East Riding of Yorkshire on the north bank...

 led to a long period of maritime significance, both civil and military.
Encyclopedia
Harwich is a town in Essex
Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 and one of the Haven ports
Haven ports
The Haven Ports are a group of five ports on the East Coast of England, these are Port of Felixstowe, Port of Ipswich, Harwich International, Harwich Navyard and Mistley...

, located on the coast with the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 to the east. It is in the Tendring
Tendring
Tendring is a local government district in North East Essex, England. It extends from the River Stour in the north, to the coast and the River Colne in the south, with the coast to the East and the town of Colchester to the west. Its council is based in Clacton-on-Sea. Towns in the district...

 district. Nearby places include Felixstowe
Felixstowe
Felixstowe is a seaside town on the North Sea coast of Suffolk, England. The town gives its name to the nearby Port of Felixstowe, which is the largest container port in the United Kingdom and is owned by Hutchinson Ports UK...

 to the northeast, Ipswich
Ipswich
Ipswich is a large town and a non-metropolitan district. It is the county town of Suffolk, England. Ipswich is located on the estuary of the River Orwell...

 to the northwest, Colchester to the southwest and Clacton-on-Sea
Clacton-on-Sea
Clacton-on-Sea is the largest town on the Tendring peninsula, in Essex, England and was founded in 1871. It is a seaside resort that attracted many tourists in the summer months between the 1950s and 1970s, but which like many other British sea-side resorts went into decline as a holiday...

 to the south. It is the northernmost coastal town within Essex.

Its position on the estuaries of the Stour
River Stour, Suffolk
The River Stour is a river in East Anglia, England. It is 76 km long and forms most of the county boundary between Suffolk to the north, and Essex to the south. It rises in eastern Cambridgeshire, passes to the east of Haverhill, through Cavendish, Sudbury and the Dedham Vale, and joins the...

 and Orwell
River Orwell
The River Orwell flows through the county of Suffolk in England. Its source river, above the tidal limit at Stoke Bridge, is known as the River Gipping. It broadens into an estuary at Ipswich where the Ipswich dock has operated since the 7th century and then flows into the North Sea at Felixstowe...

 rivers and its usefulness to mariners as the only safe anchorage between the Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

 and Humber
Humber
The Humber is a large tidal estuary on the east coast of Northern England. It is formed at Trent Falls, Faxfleet, by the confluence of the tidal River Ouse and the tidal River Trent. From here to the North Sea, it forms part of the boundary between the East Riding of Yorkshire on the north bank...

 led to a long period of maritime significance, both civil and military. The town became a naval base in 1657 and was heavily fortified, with Harwich Redoubt
Harwich Redoubt
Harwich Redoubt is a circular fort built in 1808 to defend the port of Harwich, Essex from Napoleonic invasion. The Harwich Society opens it to the public.- Construction :...

, Beacon Hill Battery
Beacon Hill Battery
Beacon Hill Battery was built to defend the port of Harwich, Essex.The first fortification built on the site was a blockhouse, constructed in 1534 during the reign of Henry VIII. This site was abandoned within ten years. After the death of Henry VIII the site was rearmed...

, and Bath Side Battery
Bath Side Battery
Bath Side Battery was built in 1811 to cover the anchorage of the port of Harwich, Essex, England as part of the same complex as the Redoubt, armed with 3 x 24 pdr cannon. The battery was allowed to decay, and after 1990 excavations is marked out on the ground in front of the Anchor pub, Stour Road...

.

Harwich today is contiguous with Dovercourt
Dovercourt
For the neighbourhood in Toronto see Dovercourt-Wallace Emerson-JunctionDovercourt is a small seaside town in Essex, England. It is older than its smaller but better-known neighbour, the port of Harwich, and appears in the Domesday Book of 1086...

 and the two, along with Parkeston, are often referred to collectively as Harwich.

History

The town's name means "military settlement," from Old English here-wic.

The town received its charter in 1238, although there is evidence of earlier settlement - for example, a record of a chapel in 1177, and some indications of a possible Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 presence.

Because of its strategic position, Harwich was the target for the invasion of Britain by William of Orange
William III of England
William III & II was a sovereign Prince of Orange of the House of Orange-Nassau by birth. From 1672 he governed as Stadtholder William III of Orange over Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel of the Dutch Republic. From 1689 he reigned as William III over England and Ireland...

 on November 11, 1688. However, unfavourable winds forced his fleet to sail instead into the English Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...

 and eventually land at Torbay
Torbay
Torbay is an east-facing bay and natural harbour, at the western most end of Lyme Bay in the south-west of England, situated roughly midway between the cities of Exeter and Plymouth. Part of the ceremonial county of Devon, Torbay was made a unitary authority on 1 April 1998...

. Due to the involvement of the Schomberg
Frederick Schomberg, 1st Duke of Schomberg
Friedrich Hermann , 1st Duke of Schomberg , KG , was a marshal of France and a General in the English and Portuguese Army....

 family in the invasion, they were made Marquesses of the town.

Writer Daniel Defoe
Daniel Defoe
Daniel Defoe , born Daniel Foe, was an English trader, writer, journalist, and pamphleteer, who gained fame for his novel Robinson Crusoe. Defoe is notable for being one of the earliest proponents of the novel, as he helped to popularise the form in Britain and along with others such as Richardson,...

 devotes a few pages to the town in A tour thro' the Whole Island of Great Britain
A tour thro' the Whole Island of Great Britain
A tour thro' the whole island of Great Britain is an account of his travels by English author Daniel Defoe, first published in three volumes between 1724 and 1727....

. Visiting in 1722, he noted its formidable fort and harbour "of a vast extent". The town, he recounts, was also known for an unusual spring rising on Beacon Hill (a promontory
Promontory
Promontory may refer to:*Promontory, a prominent mass of land which overlooks lower lying land or a body of water*Promontory, Utah, the location where the United States first Transcontinental Railroad was completed...

 to the north-east of the town), which "petrified" clay
Clay
Clay is a general term including many combinations of one or more clay minerals with traces of metal oxides and organic matter. Geologic clay deposits are mostly composed of phyllosilicate minerals containing variable amounts of water trapped in the mineral structure.- Formation :Clay minerals...

, allowing it to be used to pave Harwich's streets and build its walls. The locals also claimed that "the same spring is said to turn wood into iron", but Defoe put this down to the presence of "copperas" in the water. Regarding the atmosphere of the town, he states: "Harwich is a town of hurry and business, not much of gaiety and pleasure; yet the inhabitants seem warm in their nests and some of them are very wealthy".

Port


The Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 is no longer present in Harwich but Harwich International Port
Harwich International Port
Harwich International Port is a North Sea seaport in Essex, England. It lies on the south bank of the River Stour one mile upstream from the town of Harwich, opposite Port of Felixstowe...

 at nearby Parkeston continues to offer regular ferry
Ferry
A ferry is a form of transportation, usually a boat, but sometimes a ship, used to carry primarily passengers, and sometimes vehicles and cargo as well, across a body of water. Most ferries operate on regular, frequent, return services...

 services to the Hook of Holland (Hoek van Holland) in the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 and Esbjerg
Esbjerg
Esbjerg Municipality is a municipality in Region of Southern Denmark on the west coast of the Jutland peninsula in southwest Denmark. Its mayor is Johnny Søtrup, from the Venstre political party...

 in Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

. Many operations of the large container
Containerization
Containerization is a system of freight transport based on a range of steel intermodal containers...

 port at Felixstowe and of Trinity House
Trinity House
The Corporation of Trinity House of Deptford Strond is the official General Lighthouse Authority for England, Wales and other British territorial waters...

, the lighthouse authority, are managed from Harwich, and plans for the development of a new container port in Bathside Bay were approved by the British government in December 2005.

The town's coastal position, however, made it vulnerable to the North Sea Flood of 1953
North Sea flood of 1953
The 1953 North Sea flood was a major flood caused by a heavy storm, that occurred on the night of Saturday 31 January 1953 and morning of 1 February 1953. The floods struck the Netherlands, Belgium, England and Scotland.A combination of a high spring tide and a severe European windstorm caused a...

.
The port is famous for the phrase "Harwich for the Continent" seen on road signs and in London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) advertisements.

Architecture

Despite, or perhaps because of, its small size Harwich is highly-regarded in terms of architectural heritage, and the whole of the older part of the town, excluding Navyard Wharf, is a conservation area
Conservation area
A conservation areas is a tract of land that has been awarded protected status in order to ensure that natural features, cultural heritage or biota are safeguarded...

.


The regular street plan, with principal thoroughfares connected by numerous small alleys, betrays the town’s medieval origins although many buildings of this period are hidden behind 18th century facades.

The extant medieval structures are largely private homes. Notable public buildings, all later, include the parish church
Parish church
A parish church , in Christianity, is the church which acts as the religious centre of a parish, the basic administrative unit of episcopal churches....

 of St. Nicholas (1821) in a restrained Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 style, with many original furnishings including a (somewhat altered) organ
Pipe organ
The pipe organ is a musical instrument that produces sound by driving pressurized air through pipes selected via a keyboard. Because each organ pipe produces a single pitch, the pipes are provided in sets called ranks, each of which has a common timbre and volume throughout the keyboard compass...

 of the same date in the west end gallery, and the Guildhall of 1769, the only Grade I listed building in Harwich.

On the quayside may be seen the Pier Hotel of 1860 and Great Eastern Hotel of 1864 (the latter now divided into apartments), both reflecting the town’s new importance to travellers following the arrival of the railway line from Colchester
Colchester
Colchester is an historic town and the largest settlement within the borough of Colchester in Essex, England.At the time of the census in 2001, it had a population of 104,390. However, the population is rapidly increasing, and has been named as one of Britain's fastest growing towns. As the...

 in 1854.

Also of interest are the High Lighthouse (1818); the unusual Treadwheel Crane (late 17th century); the Electric Palace Cinema
Electric Palace Cinema
The Electric Palace cinema, Harwich, is one of the oldest purpose-built cinemas to survive complete with its silent screen, original projection room and ornamental frontage still intact...

 (1911), one of the oldest purpose-built cinemas to survive complete with its original projection room and ornamental frontage still intact and operational; the Old Custom Houses on West Street; and a number of Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 shopfronts.
There is little notable building from the later parts of the 20th century, but major recent additions include the lifeboat
Lifeboat (rescue)
A rescue lifeboat is a boat rescue craft which is used to attend a vessel in distress, or its survivors, to rescue crewmen and passengers. It can be hand pulled, sail powered or powered by an engine...

 station and two new structures for Trinity House
Trinity House
The Corporation of Trinity House of Deptford Strond is the official General Lighthouse Authority for England, Wales and other British territorial waters...

; that organisation's office building, next door to the Old Custom Houses, was completed in 2005. All three additions are influenced by the high-tech
High-Tech Architecture
High-tech architecture, also known as Late Modernism or Structural Expressionism, is an architectural style that emerged in the 1970s, incorporating elements of high-tech industry and technology into building design. High-tech architecture appeared as a revamped modernism, an extension of those...

 style.

Notable inhabitants

Harwich was the home town of Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones (sailor)
Christopher Jones was an English sailor, and master of the Mayflower between at least 1609 and 1622, who captained it on the transatlantic voyage that established the Plymouth Colony settlement. He was not a Plymouth Leader....

, the master and quarter-owner of the Mayflower
Mayflower
The Mayflower was the ship that transported the English Separatists, better known as the Pilgrims, from a site near the Mayflower Steps in Plymouth, England, to Plymouth, Massachusetts, , in 1620...

, and was also a base for that ship. The famous diarist Samuel Pepys
Samuel Pepys
Samuel Pepys FRS, MP, JP, was an English naval administrator and Member of Parliament who is now most famous for the diary he kept for a decade while still a relatively young man...

 was the Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 for Harwich. Christopher Newport
Christopher Newport
Christopher Newport was an English seaman and privateer. He is best known as the captain of the Susan Constant, the largest of three ships which carried settlers for the Virginia Company in 1607 on the way to find the settlement at Jamestown in the Virginia Colony, which became the first permanent...

, captain of the expedition that founded Jamestown, Virginia, also hailed from Harwich. Captain Charles Fryatt
Charles Fryatt
Charles Algernon Fryatt was a British mariner who attempted to ram a German U-boat in 1915. His ship, the was captured by the Germans in 1916. When it became clear who he was, Fryatt was court-martialled and executed, although he was a civilian. There was international outrage following his...

 lived in Harwich; his body was brought back from Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 in 1919 and he was buried at Dovercourt
Dovercourt
For the neighbourhood in Toronto see Dovercourt-Wallace Emerson-JunctionDovercourt is a small seaside town in Essex, England. It is older than its smaller but better-known neighbour, the port of Harwich, and appears in the Domesday Book of 1086...

.

Sport

Harwich is home to Harwich and Dovercourt RFC; Harwich & Parkeston F.C.
Harwich & Parkeston F.C.
Harwich & Parkeston F.C. is an English football club based in Harwich, Essex. The club are currently members of the Essex & Suffolk Border League and play at the Royal Oak ground.-History:...

; Harwich & Dovercourt Sailing Club; Harwich, Dovercourt & Parkeston Swimming Club; Harwich & Dovercourt Rugby Union Football Club; Harwich & Dovercourt Cricket Club; and Harwich Runners who with support from Harwich Swimming Club host the annual Harwich Triathlons.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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