This is the last foot ferry in existence across the Thames, at Ham. For hundreds of years these crossings were essential, because bridges were too expensive and difficult to build. This ferry site was the monopoly business of the Earl of Dysart for hundreds of years until Mr. Hammerton set up a rival ferry on this crossing, about 200 metres away from where the Earl's boat was operating. The Earl tried to stop him, but Parliament, for some reason, supported Hammerton, and now his successors still operate the last remaining foot ferry service on the Thames. You can see that it is still a valued service, even in the age of the car and bus.