Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Information and Guidance


Welcome to Harwich Town Council


Harwich is a pleasant, coastal town, the gem of the Sunshine Coast, full of history and character with a strong sense of community. Harwich Town Council is working hard to ensure that Harwich and Dovercourt continues to thrive and regeneration remains a top priority.

Following the Royal Charter of 1604 (King James Ι)  the town has seen a continuous line of Mayors, elected by the Council for a yearly term of office.

1604 Charter. Print supplied by Essex Records Office

Print kindly supplied by Essex Records Office

The next Mayor making ceremony will be on Thursday 19th May 2022. The church service, at 12 noon to which all are welcome, is followed by the rare custom of kitchel throwing from the upper Guildhall windows. It is a lot of fun for the members of our community who scramble to catch the freshly-baked treats. The entire ceremony is unique to Harwich and has been a local tradition for centuries.

The Guildhall, Harwich

The Guildhall

Set in the heart of the historic old sea port, Harwich’s Guildhall is the town’s only Grade 1 listed building, dating back to the seventeenth century and is currently home  to Harwich Town Council. The wealth of history and heritage that it contains, along with its remarkable architecture, make the Guildhall in Harwich a fascinating place to visit. Entry to the Guildhall is free, so please call 01255 507211 where staff will be happy to arrange a guided tour.


The Guildhall Chamber

Guildhall Chamber

The Chamber is a beautiful oak panelled room, its walls adorned with large portraits and its windows including a stained glass depiction of the town crest. The Chamber also houses the regalia show case containing the seventeenth century mace and the Mayor’s chain of office. The Chamber is available to hire for meetings, so please contact the office for details and availability. Amongst the treasures in the Mayor’s Parlour are the town’s Imperial Brass Yard and a portrait of Charles II painted in the year 1675. A unique feature of the Guildhall is the Carvings/Graffiti room, or Gaol, once used to hold prisoners waiting to be tried or sentenced. Etched into the bare wooden walls are elaborate carvings of ships, gallows and symbols designed to ward off evil spirits, some of which date from the end of the eighteenth century.

Our honorary Archivists manage the Council’s archives and amongst the hidden delights there is the Royal Charter of 1604, which incorporated the village of Dovercourt and the Borough of Harwich and allowed the appointment of a Mayor and Council, comprising ‘honest and discreet burgesses’ who served for life, and the election of two members of Parliament. Council minutes date back to this time, maps are held from the 16th century and material dating back to Richard II in the 14th century. A large photographic collection is held covering a wide range of local events and interests over the years. Many of these documents are displayed at the two exhibitions held annually, during the Harwich Festival and Heritage Weekends. Talks on the history of the town and assistance with personal research can be arranged by appointment with the Archivists.

The revitalised Friday market situated in the High Street continues to thrive and the first phase of ‘Dovercourt Rediscovered’ is underway following the installation of heritage lamp posts and community tourist maps. This project will continue to evolve in consultation with the District and County Council.

Harwich Town Council grant funding supports many local groups and organisations working within the community. The town is extremely fortunate to have a large network of volunteers and we wish to thank them for the time and invaluable support they give to help enrich our community. These people are a fine example of the community spirit previously referred to and their efforts, along with that of the town and District Councils, will, we are sure, mean that Harwich & Dovercourt continues to move forward in the coming years.

Take a virtual tour of the Guildhall which can be found below.

Contact telephone: 01255 507211

Contact email:

Apprentice Administrative Assistant:

Clerk to the Council:

Assistant Clerk to the Council:

Estates Supervisor:


  • VACCINE NEWS        

    Read full article


    Please find the link below for up to date news on the corona virus!    

    Read full article

  • Planning Committee Minutes – Tuesday 19th July 2022

    Read full article

  • Severe weather warning – Thursday 11th – Sunday 14th August

    Please be advised of the attached weather warning published by the Met Office.

    Read full article

  • Allotments Minutes – 14th June 2022

    Read full article

  • Environment and Community Committee Minutes – 5th May 2022

    Read full article

  • Essex Libraries Summer Reading Challenge

      Summer Reading Challenge A reminder that the Summer Reading Challenge – Gadgeteers – is running until Saturday 3 September in all Essex libraries and...

    Read full article

  • Planning Committee Minutes – Tuesday 28th June 2022

    Read full article

  • Extraordinary Full Council Minutes – 28th June

    Read full article

  • Full Council Minutes – 7th June 2022

    Read full article

  • Yellow Weather Warning

    Please see Weather Warning from The Met Office for Wednesday 20th July 2022    

    Read full article


    A fun family cycle ride around Tendring has been cancelled by the organisers. The Tour de Tendring, which sees riders take on a six, 20...

    Read full article

  • Age Well East – Free Dementia Training

    Age Well East offer free Dementia Training in Tendring. The training is provided by Dementia Adventure and this is part of a partnership to make...

    Read full article

  • RED Weather Warning – High Temperatures

    Weather warning Red warning for East of England Extreme heat Between 00:00 (UTC+1) on Mon 18 Jul 2022 and 23:59 (UTC+1) on Tue 19 Jul...

    Read full article

  • Weather Warning Thunderstorms

    The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for Thunderstorms, effective from 10.00am on Thursday 23rd June until 11.59pm Please visit the Met Office...

    Read full article

  • Finance & General Purposes Minutes – 22nd March 2022

    Read full article


    COUNCIL TO LOOK TO BUY EYESORE PROPERTY IN DOVERCOURT An eyesore property in Dovercourt is to be bought by Tendring District Council (TDC) to help...

    Read full article

  • Careline Services set to Expand

    CARELINE SERVICE SET TO EXPAND A marketing campaign will be launched to expand the Tendring Careline service customer base. Tendring District Council’s (TDC) Cabinet today...

    Read full article

View more Notices

Weather in Harwich

  • Sunday: Sunny, Minimum Temperature: 18°C (64°F) Maximum Temperature: 29°C (85°F)

See five day forecast

Information provided by the BBC Weather Centre