New history museum planned for former town centre factory

Aerial view of Harwich, which the town's heritage society wants to celebrate with a new museum Pictu

Aerial view of Harwich, which the town's heritage society wants to celebrate with a new museum Picture: MIKE PAGE

Proposals for a new museum celebrating the history of Harwich have been submitted to council planners.

A busy Harwich harbour - the Harwich Society wants to celebrate the town's maritime history with a n

A busy Harwich harbour - the Harwich Society wants to celebrate the town's maritime history with a new museum Picture: JANICE POULSON - Credit: Archant

The Harwich Society, founded in 1969 to help preserve the ancient seaport, wants to create a museum which will shine a light on the town’s heritage at the Anglia House building in Main Road.

MORE: New store set to join McDonalds, hotel and Lidl at £75m retail parkThe site, which faces out onto a number of landmark buildings including the High Lighthouse, was once home to the Bernards Factory – which produced uniforms for 110 years until its sudden closure in 2007.

Since then, it has been used as an office building but is now vacant again.

“The town museum is well placed to explain the Harwich story and display town heritage assets to future generations,” bosses at the Harwich Society wrote in an application to Tendring District Council.

“We consider our investment in this museum proposal will deliver social and economic benefits and complement other regeneration initiatives in the old town of Harwich.


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“The current heritage sites managed by The Harwich Society attract thousands of visitors which directly benefit local business and the Harwich economy.”

MORE: First look at multi-screen cinema and bowling alley at £70m retail parkThey added: “The town museum will be a significant addition to the tourist offer and leisure facilities in the town, it will promote heritage, support education, historical research, create volunteering opportunities and generate footfall in the town.

“Our record with other managed buildings in the town is that the promotion of heritage adds to the quality of life in Harwich.”

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In medieval times, the application site lay immediately outside the main town gat.

Anglia House sits opposite the spire of St Nicholas Church and the grid pattern of streets within the old town area.

It stands at the transition between the old town and the later Victorian expansion.

MORE: ‘We will get through this’ – Clacton Pier shuts to visitors amid coronavirus outbreakHarwich Society chiefs say the site is in an ideal location for those arriving in Harwich – and would work well for people wishing to link a museum visit with town tours, which help visitors to take in its historic highlights.

It is just a short walk away from the town’s railway station and bus services.

The application will be discussed by Tendring District Council’s planning committee in due course.

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