Harwich was a delight. Our arrival teas, coffees and cake were taken in the Swan, the second oldest building in the town, complete with C15 wall painting and evidence of an active local crafts scene.
We were in Mayflower territory. Christopher Jones, captain of that ship lived in a house just a few doors down from the Swan.
With the four hundredth anniversary of the Mayflower’s voyage to the New World on the horizon, Harwich is busy building a replica which will repeat the journey. The original Mayflower was also built in Harwich.
You can find more information here.
Rotherhithe, where I guide, has its own Mayflower links, and the church there is the burial place of Christopher Jones. I am wondering about linking tours of Rotherhithe and Harwich.
There’s still a lot of work to do to on the ship, but the talk we had from Sean was inspirational, not least in learning about the impact the project is already having for the better on the local community.
The Harwich Society has done a brilliant job of making sure both visitors and residents are aware of the town’s rich history.
But it’s not just about signage. The society has restored buildings, including the Redoubt, built in case Napoleon invaded at the start of the C19. See the size of this building and consider the labour to build it and the labour to restore it.
Before Saturday I had only been to Harwich to take the ferry to the Netherlands. I had no idea what I had been missing.