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

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.

Object Details

ID: PAE1680
Collection: Fine art
Type: Drawing
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Wyllie, William Lionel
Date made: circa 1900
People: Wyllie, William Lionel
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Measurements: 252 mm x 351 mm

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