© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London | Licence: CC BY-NC-ND
© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London | Licence: CC BY-NC-ND

Sailing barges and a steamer, with a power station in the distance

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From the Collection

Description

Thames barges were used to transport cargo around the Thames and Medway. They were very practical for shallow waters, often sporting retractable leeboards just below the gunwales. For many years they were a dominant feature of life on the river. Principally employed as cargo vessels, the largest were capable of carrying up to 300 tons. Coastal steamers and motorised barges gradually replaced them, but they remained a common sight on the Thames well into the 20th century. A number of these vessels still survive in various roles, some fully active, some used as house barges, while others are available for chartering. As a young man, Wyllie lived upon a barge on the Thames, and converted it into a floating studio.

Image Licence

Image Credit

© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

From the Watercolour World

Location

Thames Estuary, England

Country

Medium