A HUGE sculpture of an historic ship which sailed the Pilgrim Fathers to America 400 years ago has been installed in Dovercourt.

The sculpture, on the roundabout near Freshfields Road, is a total of seven metres high, seven metres long, and three metres wide.

The £45,000 sculpture was funded by Tendring Council, with the £60,000 groundworks and plinth funded by Essex County Council. 

It's aim is to promote Harwich as one of the key destinations marking next year's anniversary of the Mayflower's voyage.

The ship's captain Christopher Jones was from Harwich as were several crew members, and the ship itself was registered in the town.

Harwich is celebrating its link to the historic voyage with a year of celebratory events.

Designed by artist husband and wife collaborators Hanman Murphy, the sculpture is set to encourage tourists coming off the ferries at Harwich International Port to turn left to visit the historic town.

Madelaine Murphy, one of the artists, said: “We wanted to create to create a structural skeleton that evokes the historic starting point of the Mayflower story, represented as structurally and proportionally accurate as possible.

"The globe reflects this interpretation of iron bearing waters, and the international legacy of the Mayflower.”

Alex Porter, Tendring Council's cabinet member for leisure and tourism, said the installation showed how the area was stepping up preparations for Mayflower 400.

“We, along with many partners, are preparing Harwich to be an international tourist destination, focused on the Mayflower story but with lots of other history beside, for 2020 and beyond,” Mr Porter said.

“This sculpture will act as a gateway into the area from the international port, as well as improving the public realm for local residents.”

Groundworks for the sculpture were carried out by Essex County Council.

Matt Waddingham, managing director of Cadman Cranes, said it had been a fun project to be involved in.

“Most of our work is in construction, utilities and manufacturing, so it was a pleasant change to be involved with a piece of public artwork,” Mr Waddingham said.

“Cadman Cranes is proud to be able to support this project, and as a Harwich resident myself I am delighted to see some striking artwork that further enhances the character of our little corner of Essex.”

Finishing touches will be completed in the coming weeks.