Many of the cruisers heading to the Baltic and Scandinavia will find themselves leaving from Tilbury, which is well placed for cruises heading to the northern reaches of Europe. Tilbury is also an important container port. Next time you open your newspaper, you might want to reflect that the paper used will have arrived via Tilbury, since this is another important product handled by the port. Another mode of water transport at Tilbury is the Gravesend-Tilbury ferry, which has a long history dating back to the 14th century, when the ferry consisted of a rowing boat and was thought to transport sheep and wool. Anyone who enjoys looking at old photographs can see a collection of photos of vessels used on this crossing from 1862 to 1984 on the Simplon Postcards website.
Tilbury Fort, originally built by Henry VIII and rebuilt under Charles I with the aim of defending the Thames estuary from first the Spanish Armada and later the Dutch and the French, is a star-shaped fortification built right on the estuary, surrounded by an elaborate array of moats and earthworks. The Fort is now run by English Heritage, and visitors to the site can explore the magazine houses and passages and view an exhibition which tells the story of the Fort’s role in defending London over the years.
Map of the area.
photo © 2007 Brian Snelson | more info (via: Wylio)