Wivenhoe is a town approximately
3 miles/4.8 km south east of Colchester and 12 miles/19kms north west of Clacton on Sea.
Wivenhoe is Saxon in origin, deriving from the personal name Wifa's. Wivenhoe is recorded in the
Domesday Book of 1086 as Wiivnhou when it formed part of the land of Robert Gernon, where there was a mill, 12 acres
(49,000 m2) of meadow and pasture
for 60 sheep.
developed as a port and until the late 19th century was effectively a port for Colchester as large ships were unable to navigate
any further up the River Colne which widens here into its estuary. The town's history includes fishing, ship
building, and, reportedly, smuggling.
Today the town is considered to have a bohemian quality, remaining popular with local artists and writers. Much of lower Wivenhoe is
a designated conservation area with many streets being of particular architectural interest. One building of interest
is Wivenhoe House, a grade II listed building which dates back to 1759 and was the subject of a John Constable painting now
displayed at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. The building is now a hotel.