The Packet Inn

Status:Closed. Now a private residence with no public access. Please respect the owners' privacy when viewing the exterior of this building.

The Packet closed as a pub in 1954 and reverted to its former use as a house.

The Packet, Harwich
The Packet.


The Packet, or no. 72 West Street as it is now known, appears to be a Georgian house – built that way rather than being a frontage on an earlier structure.

Certainly by 1782 it was known as “The Smack” and run by John Clark until 1799.

In the early 19th Century it became known as the Eagle Pacquet Boat and then simply the Packet (or Packett) which is interesting because Harwich had both types of boat – a smack being a fishing vessel and a packet designed to carry mail, passengers and light freight.

The Webber family (Edward, Martha and daughter Sophia) ran the inn from 1823 to 1855. The pub changed ownership in 1837 as the owner of the Harwich Brewery, Thomas Cobbold, retired and the estate was broken up but we don't know who purchased the Packet.

In 1837 the pub is described as being in Custom House Lane and containing a good Bar, Tap room, Store Room, Parlor, with separate Entrance, another Parlor in the rear, with Cellar under, and five Bed Rooms. Yard, and large Blacksmith's Shop, with a frontage to West Street.

By 1855 the Packet is owned by John Brice and, indeed, he could have been the purchaser in 1837 as he bought up other parts of the Harwich Brewery estate and in 1860 built the Pier Hotel on the Quay on the old brewery site.

in 1878 the inn is acquired by brewers Alston & Sons of Manningtree which in 1910 became part of the Daniell & Co. brewery estate.

In 1919 the Packet was run by a Mr. Gloster and Emily Sealey who employed a general help called Hilda Cooper. Mrs. Cooper was obviously a formidable lady because at this time the pub was reputed to have the cleanest scrubbed tables in Harwich.

Finally in 1940 the Packet reverted to being owned by the Cobbold family and became part of their huge tied estate which stretched right across East Anglia.

Notable Facts, Things to Look Out For

Historic Harwich Pub Trail is a collaboration between the Tendring Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale and the Harwich Society.
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