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Harwich England

Harwich town viewed from the harbour

Harwich harbour is on the estuaries of the River Stour and River Orwell and was for a long time the only safe anchorage between the River Thames and the Humber. The harbour has twin towns at its entrance: Felixstowe on the north and Harwich on the south side, both still busy with commercial shipping. Shotley Gate is the village situated on the point where the harbour divides into the two rivers and until 1976 was home to the Royal Navy's basic training establishment, HMS Ganges.

"Harwich" is pronounced by the locals to rhyme with "marriage".


Harwich Harbour 1804

This 1804 chart of Harwich harbour shows the dangerous shoals, so concerning to John, as well as the approaches to the Secret Archipelago

Native prototype[]

Arthur Ransome used the actual Harwich harbour with little or no fictional embellishment.