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The Maldon Barge

898 of 1170 nominations

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The Maldon Barge

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The Maldon Barge

Just to set the record straight, the Maldon Barge is actually a Thames Sailing Barge – but these majestic flat-bottomed boats are still a familiar sight at Maldon in Essex. The town has a history of supplying London, and the Thames barge was an ideal form of transport. It’s thought to have evolved from a sea-going vessel designed to carry cargo in the Middle Ages. Design progress was slow, but an annual Sailing Barge Match, introduced in 1863, brought a new incentive to design faster boats with small crews. A golden age for the Thames Sailing Barge followed, and its cheap running costs meant it literally sailed through the age of steam. In its heyday, there were more 5000 barges, and they played a crucial role in the evacuation from Dunkirk in the second world war. Few are left now, and those that are tend to be used for charter. Hythe Quay, part of the old port at Maldon, is home to the biggest fleet of fully rigged sailing barges in the country. A new heritage centre has been opened on board the barge Glenway at Cook’s Barge Yard.

NOMINATION 898 OF 1170

Your comments

They bring back to mind the qualities of a bygone time when sailing sedately down the river.

Ron Woolgar


Hello Just a little note to say... as I was browsing the internet looking for information on the "Maldon Barge" I came upon your web site. Although I personally do not know a lot about the Maldon Barge. I thought I would comment anyway. My husband Martin Sadd is the Grandson of Harry William Sadd of "John Sadd and Sons LTD." Timber Importers, Sawmillers, Joinery Manufacturers, Hardware and Builders" Merchants of Maldon Essex. They have not been in business for several decades now . I have been doing some of the family history and I know they had quite a number of barges according to the Essex Record Office. Some of them were build by John Howard of Maldon. During the second world war the firm secured a large contract for the supply of Army hutments followed by orders from the Admiralty and Air Ministry for Fairmile-type motor launches and motor torpedo boats, airsea rescue craft, pontoons, small assault craft, motor fishing vessels, aircraft parts etc... I am not sure if the Sadd barges were sent to pick up soldiers during the second world war, but I just imagine that to be so. Most of the Sadd homes in Maldon had Belvederes on top of them ,so they could watch their company barges go up and down to river. BBC did an article on the "Belvederes of Maldon" a few years back. Last year my husband and I took a trip to Maldon to see the family and the town. We spent many hours down at Hythe Quay watch the Barges go up and down the river with a different kind of cargo (people). It was a wonderful trip which we will do again. Regards Tricia and Marty Sadd
Tricia Sadd


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I believe rice, peas and jerk chicken is an Icon of England.

Ade Adeluwoye

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