In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Harwich like this:
Harwich, municipal bor., watering-place, seaport, and par., E. Essex, on peninsula on S. side of river Stour, at its confluence with the Orwell, 21 miles NE. of Colchester and 70 miles NE. of London - bor., 1479 ac., pop. 7842; par., 88 ac., pop. 5821; 1 Bank, 1 newspaper. Market-day, Tuesday. Harwich has been a place of note from a very early period; it was called Harwic by the Saxons. Being one of the best and safest harbours on the E. coast, its shipping is very important, especially the trade with Holland and North Germany. ...
Steam packets ply regularly between Harwich and the Continent in connection with the Great Eastern Ry. (For shipping statistics, see Appendix.) The town depends a good deal upon the success of its shrimp and lobster fisheries. Other industries of the district are shipbuilding, Roman cement works, brewing, sailmaking, ropemaking, and the mfr. of artificial manure. On the snore, or Inner Ridge, abreast of Dovercourt, are 2 fixed lights (Harwich) seen 11 and 9½ miles; and near the extremity of Landguard Point is a fixed light (Harwich) seen 10 miles. Harwich returned 1 member to Parliament until 1885.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Harwich has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Tendring. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Harwich and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Harwich, in Tendring and Essex | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 23rd May 2013
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