19th century London > River Thames
The River Thames was vital to London’s growth well into the 19th century. International sea trade made London the busiest port in the world by 1800.
The river was always crowded with ships of all sizes, and the first enclosed docks with warehouses were built at this time to make handling cargo easier.
The Thames was also a barrier. For centuries there was just one crossing point, London Bridge. By 1800 only two more bridges, Westminster (1750) and Blackfriars (1769), had been added.