The Navyard Wharf is operated by the Harwich Dock Company Ltd. Roll on/Roll off cargo ships sail to various ports in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Belgium.
Previously this was the site of the shipyard and before that the site of a small 12th Century castle. Ships were built here in the 16th Century under Chapman and Pett.
Elizabeth 1 came to inspect the shipyard in 1561. She stayed at the noblest house in the middle of the High St (now King’s Head St). It was a medieval aisled hall possibly the Duke of Norfolk’s.
The Treadwheel Crane, now situated on Harwich Green, spent its working life in this shipyard.
The Shipyard was developed in 1660 and many fine naval ships were built to the design of Anthony Deane. It was mentioned by Pepys (the Diarist), who was Secretary for the Navy and MP for Harwich. Deane the Shipwright and Pepys were friends and MPs together, both representing Harwich. In the 18th/19th Century the shipyard came under the control of various families; Bailey, Graham, Bagshaw and by 1850 Vaux.
Navyard Wharf was established on the site in 1962. A list of the Men of War constructed in the Old Naval Yard 1660-1827 is shown on a board near the entrance to the Navyard Wharf.
Here is also situated the old shipyard bell which was cast by John Darby, Bellfounder of Ipswich in 1666. It was housed in a bell tower in the middle of the Old Naval Yard and rung daily to summon people to work. It was disposed of in the late 1920s (at the same time that the Treadwheel Crane was relocated). It was recovered in 1930 by Mr PJ Pybus, MP for Harwich, who presented it to the town.