Wivenhoe, Essex


'A drinking village with a fishing problem'

Wivenhoe is a town of some 10,000 inhabitants on the north bank of the River Colne estury between Colchester and Clacton in north-east Essex. The town is built on a promentary of sand and gravel which has formed a natural place for a settlement since pre-Roman times. The town has traditionally been associated with the maritime life of the east coast. Ship-building, fishing and a thriving port gave Wivenhovians their local employment and contacts with the wider world beyond the farming and market life of the other local villages.

Wivenhoe now has changed with the times; the railway station with a one hour jouney to London is to many the focus of the Town in the 21st Century. The port has closed, the land redeveloped as housing to help cater for the increasing number of commuters. The last ship has left the slipway at Cook's yard and there are only five or six inshore fishing boats left in the dock. Wivenhoe has been the home since 1964 of The University of Essex built in the grounds of the old Manor House.

Wivenhoe Town forms part of Colchester Borough (125 square miles, population 160,000) which stretches from the beautiful Dedham Vale and Constable country in the north east to the yachting and wildlife havens of Mersea Island and the Colne estuary to the south. Colchester is Britain's oldest recorded town - documented since it was the Celtic stronghold of Camulodunum. Archaeological evidence shows a settlement existed here 3,000 years ago. Today, most of Colchester town centre lies within the ancient boundaries of Camulodunum, the Anglo Saxon town famous for their chief Boudicca.

Colchester lies 54 miles east of London, with fast direct links into the capital via the A12/M25 road network, or just 47 minutes by train into the heart of the city. To the north it links with Ipswich and the A14 route to Birmingham and via the M1/M6 to the midlands and the north of England. It is just 45 minutes from London's third airport at Stansted, and 30 minutes from the major east coast ports of Harwich International and the Port of Felixstowe.