The original Cinque Port Wreckhouse is the rectangular
two story building with the confines of the now vacant James and Stone Shipyard. and it is
said to date from 1780.
An Act of 1821 specified that Wreckhouses should be established in Brightlingsea, Wivenhoe
and Harwich, in addition to the three at Dover Deal and Ramsgate.
It is reasonable to conclude that it was the 1821 Act wich led to use of the Existing
On 10th August 1886, the property was purchased by Joseph Bridges from the Lord of the
Manor. Here the Bridges family carried out their blockmaking business.
In 1934 J.H. Bridges sold the Building to John James and Co. Ltd.
From the 1870's the Cinque Port Wreckhouse functions were performed at the 'Old Customs
House', the largely weatherboarded building, at 4 and 6 Waterside (now occupied by the
Harbour Commissioners) and, later in the building at 126 Sydney Street, (now the HQ of the
North London Sailing Association). It is not known for certain when this move took place
but in the 1911 Brightlingsea Year Book and Directory 126 Sydney Street is given as
126 Sydney Street
now the home of the North London Sailing Association