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13 November 2014

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You are in: Essex > History > Local History > Mistley Quay through the ages

Mistley Quay

Mistley Quay - photo Mike Bambridge

Mistley Quay through the ages

Mistley Quay has been in operation since the 1700's and used to be the focus of industry in that area.

Local historian Bob Horlock has had a family business in Mistley for many years.  He has been helping us look back at the history of Mistley Quay.

Dating back around 300 years the first quay was built around 1720 by Rigby and trade went on from that quay up to Sudbury.  Around about 1770 the quay was enlarged and was known as Alan's Quay.

Bob Horlock

Local historian Bob Horlock

Shipbuilding started around 1778, and from then on there was a lot of trade which went on to the 19th century. 

At the end of the 19th century the Maltings were built and barley came from various parts of the world to London.  It was taken there to be turned into malt and then shipped out by the Thames barges.

According to Bob you could see up to 20 barges along the quay at once in the 1930s.  At the Harwich end of the quay was a timber wharf owned by Taylor and Butler, they bought in timber form all parts of the world but mainly the Baltic.

Barges at Mistley Quay

Barges at Mistley - photo Mike Bambridge

Visually the quay has changed as early on there would have just been a few houses along the side of the wharf. 

The Swan Basin was then added by Rigby and gradually the buildings and the maltings spread along the front from 1890's.

Around 400 people were employed there during the start of the 20th century, so it was the focus of industry at that time as there was a lot of trade there.

Now the quay sees around three ships a week arrive and go.  It's valued by locals as an area to walk along and allows people to appreciate the views across the River Stour.

last updated: 16/09/2008 at 09:45
created: 12/09/2008

You are in: Essex > History > Local History > Mistley Quay through the ages

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