London, Gravesend, 1839

Gravesend is a port town located in north-west Kent on the southern bank of the River Thames in England. It is 17 miles (27.8 kilometres) down stream from London as the crow flies, longer by river. In the 1830s, when migrant sailing ships departed from the London Docks, they were first towed by steam tug to Gravesend under the command of a Thames pilot. This process generally took half a day and ships anchored overnight at Gravesend. From Gravesend a second tug and pilot took over to guide the ship through the Thames estuary to The Downs. Seven of the nine ships that we are folloing departed in this way. Gravesend itself was a common port of departure for sailing ships.

Interactive map of Gravesend, United Kingdom


Charlwood, Don, The Long Farewell, (2005), Burgeqwood Books, Warrandyte, pp. 83-4.

Captain John Potter of MV Princess Pocahontas provided information about the distance from the London Docks to Gravesend.

Share this page:

Comments or Questions:

No comments yet.