AN auctioneer is releasing a book on the significance of a former pub where it is believed Lord Nelson secretly met his lover Lady Hamilton.

Brett Hammond, who runs Timeline Auctions, has written a book on the former Three Cups pub in Church Street, Harwich.

The pub was built as a Tudor mansion next to St Nicholas Church in about 1500 and opened as an inn sometime in the 16th century.

It is now a private residence, home to Brett, his wife Tanja and their sons Aaron and Ethan.

Brett bought the pub in 2015 and has been writing a biography about the building's history.

He said: "I have written the book for my own interest and to promote Harwich tourism.

"It has so far taken me two years and will finish at around 40,000 words.

"I plan to publish the 20 plus chapter book as a large scale book in early 2019, and all profits will go to local charities."

Lord Nelson’s infamous affair with the captivating Lady Hamilton is reputed to have lasted six years and was one of the biggest scandals of the early 19th century.

Kings, queens, princes and the nobility also visited the Three Cups.

Brett said: "My wife Tanja and I fell in love with Harwich’s Three Cups Inn three years ago when we first learned of its associations with Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton.

"For more than two hundred years the Nelson-Hamilton connections provided the Three Cups with enough publicity to promote the inn as Harwich’s star attraction.

"But the story of the larger-than-life hero and heroine undoubtedly overshadowed the presence of many other historical figures."

A release date for the book is still to be set.