Arthur Ransome Wiki

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. Shotley is a smaller third town on the point where the harbour divides into the two rivers, and there is a Royal Navy station here.

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


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.