The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 54 From London to Tilbury and Gravesend

Lower Thames 2

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The river now runs north east (Gallions Reach). On the right is the Royal Arsenal, which during the War extended its area over most of Plumstead Marshes. On the left are the entrances to (12 miles) the Royal Albert Dock; then Beckton, with huge piers and gas-works and the north outfall of the metropolitan drainage system. Opposite is Tripcock Ness, after which the river runs due east again (Barking Reach). On the left is (13 miles) Barking Creek, the mouth of the river Roding, on which lies Barking. The marshes of Barking Level are bounded next the river by a high embankment of unknown antiquity, part of a system that protects the low-lying lands on the whole lower Thames from inundation. Wharves and factories now become less frequent. On the right are the wooded hills of Abbey Wood and Belvedere. Farther on, in Halfway Reach, is (15 miles) Dagenham Breach, a lake formed in 1707 by a breach in the river-wall. The river now makes a loop due south (Erith Reach and Erith Rands), with (18 miles) Erith on the right. On the right are Crayford Ness and the mouth of the river Darent, on which, 2+ miles south, lies Dartford. Opposite is (20 miles) Purfleet. Long Reach now runs south east, passing Stone Church and (23 miles) the picturesque little town of Greenhithe, with two training ships and Ingress Abbey. The valley is disfigured by cement and other works. At Stone Ness (left), marked by a small lighthouse, begins St. Clement's or Fidler's Reach, running north east, with the church of West Thurrock on the left bank. Beyond Broad Ness (right) the river turns south east again (Northfleet Hope). On the left is (25 miles) Grays, with a training ship; on the right, Northfleet, with a conspicuous Roman Catholic church, opposite Tilbury Ness. The river then turns due east (Gravesend Reach). On the left are the Docks, railway station, and fort, with its old gateway, of (28 miles) Tilbury. Opposite is Gravesend, reached by ferry from Tilbury. Beyond Gravesend the river opens out into a broad estuary. Leaving Lower Hope Reach we turn east into Sea Reach, 2 miles wide, and pass Thames Haven, Canvey Island, and Leigh, on the left. Southend, at the mouth of the Thames see the Blue Guide to England.