Samuel Pepys is located within ‘Old Harwich’ just off The Quay and within walking distance of many of the significant places of interest this conservation town has to offer.
Detailed below are some of the places you might like to visit, more information can be found at the Ha’penny Pier Visitor Centre, just down the road from Samuel Pepys.
So called due to the ½d that was charged for people to use it, the pier was a popular departure point for paddle steamers. Opened in July 1853, the pier was originally twice as long but half burnt down in 1927. The charming Victorian ticket office is now a visitor centre also housing the ‘Christopher Jones and the Mayflower’ exhibition.
The Electric Palace Cinema
One of the oldest purpose-built cinemas to survive complete with its silent screen, original projection room and ornamental frontage still intact. The cinema was built in 18 weeks and opened in November 1911, the first film being The Battle of Trafalgar and The Death of Nelson. It still runs today, showing films every weekend!
High & Low Lighthouses
The original wooden pair were replaced in 1818 by brick ones (still standing), followed by cast iron ones at Dovercourt. They were leading lights – working as a pair – one light over the other indicating the correct course. The changing course of the channel meant they became redundant in 1863. The low one now houses the Maritime Museum.
Treadwheel Crane & Naval Dockyard
Harwich Green homes the only UK example of a double treadwheel crane, but it spent its working life in the naval dockyard. The crane was operated by two men walking inside a pair of 16ft wheels and was part of Samuel Pepys expansion to the dockyard in 1667 to fit Harwich as a base for British ships in a sea war against the Dutch.
The Grade 1 Listed Harwich Town Council building dates from the 17th Century. It stands on the site of “The Bear” where the Council had met since 1673. A unique feature is the carvings room, used to hold prisoners waiting to be tried or sentenced who carved engravings of 18th century ships and houses into the woodwork.
Redoubt Fort & Bathside Battery
The moated, circular Redoubt Fort was built in 1808 and the nearby Bathside Battery in 1811, both to defend the port and protect the town from a Napoleonic invasion.The impressive Redoubt now houses a military museum.?Since its decay and following excavation in 1990, the outline of the battery is now marked by red bricks.
Beacon Hill Fort
Beacon Hill Fort is in a prime location overlooking the estuary at Harwich formed by the rivers Stour and Orwell. It has had numerous alterations as a result of rapid changes in military technology between the end of the last century and WWII. The last major addition was the construction of the battery observation post towers.
Christopher Jones & The Mayflower
Jones (c.1570-1622), born in Harwich, lived here most of his life and his old house is in King’s Head St. In 1609 he became Master of the Mayflower and captained the ship on the voyage that established the Plymouth Colony settlement. The Jones River in Kingston, Massachusetts was named by the Pilgrims after Captain Jones.