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30th & 31st May, 2020

To Book your FREE tickets for the event at the Freight House, Rochford select HERE

HMS Beagle was a relatively modest ship with a world changing impact; the year 2020 will mark 200 years since  the launch of this vessel upon which Charles Darwin made the discoveries which led to his revolutionary scientific theories.

The research he undertook on the ship from 1831-1836 inspired his ground-breaking theory of evolution by natural selection, eventually leading to the publication of ‘On the Origin of Species’ as well as other key works based on his observations.

He said this journey had “determined my whole career,” a period during which he collected specimens, made copious notes and observed the geological formations, volcanoes and earthquakes that would shape his future thinking.

The ship’s legacy does not end there, as the Beagle was captained by Commander Robert Fitzroy, founder of the Met Office, a ground-breaking meteorologist who published the world’s first weather forecasts.

This pioneering spirit of adventure will be celebrated in “Discover 2020: 200 years of HMS Beagle”, an event  designed to inspire future generations through a host of STEAM activities connected to the history of the ship; her role in combatting smuggling on the Essex coast; and her lasting legacy in the fields of science and engineering. 

Book tickets to this FREE family day full of discovery

This weekend event will focus on the 200th anniversary of the launch of the HMS Beagle – one of the most famous ships in history. She circumnavigated the globe and through her voyage; her famous passenger Charles Darwin; and her Captain Robert Fitzroy, her name is synonymous with discovery in the fields of science, meteorology and even space exploration. She then ended her career as a watch vessel at Paglesham, in the Rochford District.

With attractions designed to stimulate and interest visitors to learn more about HMS Beagle’s history; her role in combating smuggling on the Essex coast; and her legacy in the fields of science and engineering. We have contributors from numerous renowned institutions such as the Met Office, The Geological Society, The Linnean Society of London and the Sedgwick Museum plus many more.

So, just like the Beagle did all those years ago... we want to commemorate the spirit of adventure in a voyage around the Rochford District, leaving an inspiring legacy for future generations.

For more details about Discover 2020 Rochford District Festival visit