During the 19th century, Sittingbourne developed into an industrial town. Brick-making and barge-building were two of the main industries. The huge demand for Kentish bricks gave rise to the Thames spritsail sailing barge to transport them. Hundreds of these famous wooden barges, with their red-brown sails, were made in the nearby creeks and inlets, but few have survived. The Golden Hope, built in 1866, sailed for many years, until it was converted into ‘a floating home’.
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