Harwich is a town in Essex, England and one of the Haven ports, located on the coast with the North Sea to the east. It is in the Tendring district. Nearby places include Felixstowe to the northeast, Ipswich to the northwest, Colchester to the southwest and Clacton-on-Sea to the south. It is the northernmost coastal town within Essex. Its position on the estuaries of the Stour and Orwell rivers and its usefulness to mariners as the only safe anchorage between the Thames and the Humber led to a long period of maritime significance, both civil and military. The town became a naval base in 1657 and was heavily fortified, with Harwich Redoubt, Beacon Hill Battery, and Bath Side Battery. Harwich is the likely launch point of the Mayflower which carried English Puritans to North America, and is the presumed birthplace of Mayflower captain Christopher Jones. Harwich today is contiguous with Dovercourt and the two, along with Parkeston, are often referred to collectively as Harwich.