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Dovercourt town centre - - 522577.jpg
Town Centre
Grid reference: TM244308
Location: 51°55’51"N, 1°15’49"E
Post town: Harwich
Postcode: CO12
Dialling code: 01255
Local Government
Council: Tendring

Dovercourt is a small seaside town at the north-eastern tip of Essex. It is older than its smaller but better-known neighbour, the port of Harwich, and appears in the Domesday Book of 1086. Today the towns are contiguous.

Dovercourt is rich with civil war history and as a seaside resort offers shops and cafés for visitors and residents. The main shopping area is The High Street, with shops from independents to the national chains. The town is served by Dovercourt railway station.


According to the Domesday Book of 1086, the manor was held before the Conquest by Wulwin or Ulwin, but by 1086 the estate was in possession of Aubrey de Vere I and remained part of the barony of his descendants the Earls of Oxford until the 16th century. The manor formed part of the dowry of Juliana de Vere when she married Hugh Bigod, 1st Earl of Norfolk in the mid-12th century, and the sub-tenancy passed to the Bigod earls of Norfolk who held it as one knight's fee of the Veres. Countess Juliana's son Roger Bigod, 2nd Earl of Norfolk founded a chapel at Harwich and granted it to Colne Priory, Essex, a Vere foundation.[1]

During the Civil War, the castles on the coast here were besieged and battles fought in the Doverrcourt area.

In 1863 Trinity House erected two cast iron lighthouses on the beach. They were used until 1917 to guide ships around Landguard Point; the two lights aligned indicated the right course. The deep-water channel is now marked by buoys. The lighthouses were restored in the 1980s.[2] The lighthouses are sometimes known as Dovercourt Range Lights.

In 1939, Warner’s Holiday Camp at Dovercourt, under the direction of Anna Essinger and aided by several of the staff from Bunce Court School, was used for refugee children arriving to be placed in foster homes in the Kindertransport mission.[3][4][5]

The camp was used for filming the BBC comedy Hi-de-Hi in the 1980s and was later re-developed as a housing estate, which is known as Hightrees.

Popular culture

The 1980s BBC sitcom Hi-de-Hi! was filmed in Dovercourt, at Warner’s Holiday Camp, which transformed into Maplin’s.


("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Dovercourt)


  1. Morant, History of Essex, vol. 1, pp. 497-8.
  2. "Dovercourt". Harwich & Dovercourt Town Council Official Guide. Local Authority Publishing. Retrieved 31 October 2010. 
  3. Cox, Murray (2008-11-23). "'We lived on hope and promises'". BBC News (BBC). Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  4. Photos and short history of Bunce Court Town of Faversham website. "Bunce Court, Otterden" Retrieved September 28, 2011
  5. "Refugee Children in Britain: Testimony of Hanna Bergas" Yad Vashem History of the Retrieved October 7, 2011