The River Thames and other connecting transport routes between London and Europe and from Britain to the rest of the World have all played a significant role in shaping Gravesham and its heritage.
From discovering the riverside haunts of smugglers and Gravesend’s role at the gateway to the Port of London to viewing some of the unique places and fine architecture on the river, in the towns of Gravesend and Northfleet, you won’t be disappointed.
Gravesham has a fascinating cluster of historic defences that have been a feature of the Lower Thames and its estuary since the Iron Age and exhibit a range of historic defences from the 14th to the 20th centuries. Gravesend’s Tudor Blockhouse, New Tavern and Shornemead Forts constructed against the threat of foreign invasion and to protect the river route to London.
Take the Crossfire Trail between New Tarvern Fort and Tilbury Fort to appreciate the thinking that lay behind these defences and visit the Cold War bunker in Woodlands Park a 20th century response to the threat of nuclear bombardment. Each of these sites tell a story about a stage in Britain’s defence and the rise and fall of various defence technologies over the centuries.
The River is still of great importance to Gravesend today as an operational base for the Port of London Authority and other river-related services. To check Gravesend tide and ships activities please have a look at the tide tables published by Port of London Authority.
Gravesend Pontoon is the landing stage for many different vessels arriving in Gravesend on the River Thames. These include a Paddle Steamer, Barges, Yachts, Tugs and many more. For more information please follow the link: www.gravesendpontoon.co.uk
Gravesend Lifeboat is situated at the end of Royal Terrace Pier and is one of four Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboat stations based on the River Thames and was established in January 2002.