HERITAGE OPEN DAYS 11th – 12th september
Unfortunately, The Guildhall remains closed to the public during this year’s Heritage Open Days weekend, however you are able to view a virtual tour of the Grade I listed building here
Harwich Town Council is implementing a phased return to operating from the Guildhall, commencing with the return of staff members to the council offices. Currently, members of the public will not be permitted access to the Guildhall but can continue to liaise with the team either via telephone or email. Any business which must be conducted in person, is done so on an appointment only basis with certain Covid-secure measures in place. Contractors and delivery drivers are asked to call the office upon arrival on 01255 507211.
Council meetings continue to be conducted remotely and members of the public are able to attend by contacting the Clerk to the Council for joining instructions. Agendas and minutes still continue to be posted on the council’s website.
Until further notice, the Council will not be taking bookings for the hire of the chamber or facilitating gatherings inside the Guildhall of any number. The council is however, celebrating Heritage Open Days this year with a virtual tour of the Guildhall which can found here.
Contact telephone: 01255 507211
The Putting Green facility remains closed.
The Skatepark and Youth Shelter are open but it is encouraged to follow the guidelines (see link below).
If you or someone you know is vulnerable and has been a victim of fraud, please call Essex Police on 101.
Report fraud or attempted fraud by contacting Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040. Essex Fraud Alert
Bank fraud help https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/a-z-of-fraud/courier-fraud
Social Media and Website Fraud https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/alert/164-instagram-users-report-losing-over-350000-to-investment-scams
For further information on volunteering, guidance and fundraising please see the links below –
- NHS England National Volunteer Initiative
- British Red Cross Volunteer Schemes
- Essex County Council Community Shield
- Charity Excellence COVID19
- EALC Health & Wellbeing & Safety Update
- Anglian Water Information
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.
The next Mayor making ceremony will be on Thursday 21st May 2020. 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.
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 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.