In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Gravesend like this:
Gravesend.-- parl. and mun. bor., river-port, market town, and par., mid. Kent, on S. bank of river Thames, 24 miles E. of London by rail -- parl. bor., 3159 ac., pop. 31,283; mun. bor., 1256 ac., pop. 23,302; par., 564 ac., pop. 8416; 2 Banks, 5 newspapers. Market-days, Wednesday and Saturday. The town appears as Gravesham in Domesday Book; it was incorporated during the reign of Elizabeth. Gravesend is especially familiar as the place of embarkation and disembarkation of custom-house officers, pilots, &c., attached to ships sailing to or arriving from foreign ports. ...
It is the boundary port of London; has a considerable industry in fishing, especially for shrimps; and carries on some boat-building, ironfounding, soap-making, and brewing. Large supplies of vegetables and fruit are grown in the surrounding country for the London market. The bor. returns 1 member to Parliament.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Gravesend has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Gravesham. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Gravesend and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Gravesend, in Gravesham and Kent | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 10th March 2014
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