Throughout London’s history, the Thames has been the highway that enabled its citizens to travel easily from place to place along the river and to carry goods where they were needed.
|Watermen. © NMM|
For centuries, Thames watermen provided a vital service in transporting passengers to their places of work and leisure, or simply carrying them across to the other riverbank.
London Bridge, first built by the Romans, was the only bridge spanning the Thames in London until Westminster Bridge was built in 1750. The watermen did all they could to ensure that their boats remained the only practical means of getting about.