Northfleet, Kent

Northfleet, Kent. Steel engraving. Drawn by Tomblesome and engraved by Wallis. From Eighty Picturesque Views of the Thames and Medway. Text and formatting by George P. Landow. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the University of California Library and the Internet Archive and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.]

On the Kentish banks, the church of Charlton, with the neighbouring scenery, forms a pleasing prospect. At the extremity of the reach is seen Woolwich, with its fine dock-yard, established by Henry VIII, and at the lower end of the town is situated the royal arsenal, the grand national repository of every species of military and naval ordnance and stores. Near the arsenal are moored the hulks, for the reception of convicts. Part of the parish of Woolwich extends to the opposite bank, and is included in the county of Kent, on which side of the river is the Devil's-house being all that remains of a mansion, formerly belonging to the family of Deval, whose name has suffered so unnatural a corruption from the seafaring characters by whom it is seen. The Thames now forms a long reach, called Gallions, and, passing the mouth of the river Roding, called Barking-creek, and then Dagenham, soon arrives at Erith. The dull unvarying aspect of the Essex coast, which is only momentarily relieved by the herds of cattle, sometimes seen pasturing on the marshy levels, forms a striking contrast with the uplands of Plumstead, which rise from the Kentish meadows in various hills and wooded undulations. The town of Erith derives its name from Errl-hithe, or old harbour, and lies very prettily in a small bay, the ivy and moss-grown tower of the church creating a picturesque object. On the brow of a finely-wooded hill is seen the beautiful seat and grounds of lord Say and Sele, called "Belvidere." About two miles in advance, on the opposite side of the river, is Purfleet, formerly called Pourtefleet, containing large public magazines for gunpowder. The chalk-quarries serve to relieve for a moment the flat uninteresting scenery of this side of the Thames. Passing through Long-Reach, we have the Dartford marshes on our right, through wliich the river Darent flows, called Dartmouth-creek, rendering its waters to the parent stream. Approaching the delightful hamlet of Greenhithe, whose chalk cliffs, as well as those at Northfleet, rise from 100 to 150 feet perpendicularly, breaking the uniformity of the scenery, and convey the feeling of a partially romantic character. [77]

References

Fearnside, W. G. Eighty Picturesque Views of the Thames and Medway, Engraved on Steel by the First Artists. London: Black and Armstrong, [n.d. after 1837]. Internet Archive version of a copy in the University of California at Berkley Library. Web. 30 March 2012.


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Last modified 2 May 2012