The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

Open location in Google Maps: 51.447588, 0.794448


Cheyney Spit is located in the Thames Estuary, just off the coast of the Isle of Sheppey, Kent. It can be seen on this chart.

1 Annotation

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Today this is a treacherous part of the mouth of the Thames off Margate and Ramsgate. To give you an idea of the problems, look at the comments of these yachtspeople:…

Oh well, that takes you to the index, not the page, so I've excepted the major info:

"You can get through this passage even at extreme low water springs with 1.5m draft. But you do need to be careful in places. Go round the Cheyney Spit just outside Medway by leaving the main channel around the no 6 buoy. ... on this spit, so don't cut it too fine. Aim carefully from the Spile buoy to a point 1/2 mile south of the Spaniard buoy. The Kent flats are indeed flat and you won't run suddenly aground, but if you get into the shallow water on the Red Sands or off Warden Point it takes patience to find your way out. The shallowest point of all is in the Gore Channel, mid way between E. Last and the Hook buoys. It goes suddenly shallow a couple of cables before you reach the bouys and has now only 2½m of water at low springs mid-way between them. Through that and you get into deeper water south of Margate Sands - a good few skippers relax and then run onto the sands! The final trap, and by far the most dangerous as it is rock, is Longnose Spit off North Foreland. A couple of red buoys mark it clearly, so just stand out to them. In summer there is a little N cardinal buoy closer in which, if you spot, you can use to cut in more closer.
"Coming round N. Foreland, Broadstairs ledges are not too shallow but can cut up a bit rough in wind-over-tide. Finally, keep well out for the approach to Ramsgate, following in just north of the dredged channel. Beware a strong tide across the entrance to the harbour, yachts are lost on the harbour moles every year. Should you reach Ramsgate at extreme low water, you may find the entrance to the main harbour is too shallow. If you can see sand on the right hand side just inside the entrance, take it very slow.
{Your recent chart of the southern Thames Estuary will be OK except that as I mentioned, its now shallower at East Last. The old Copperas channel to the south is now deeper, but is unmarked). Apart from Longnose, running aground is not that dangerous in this area except in a strong NE or E wind, in which case I would recommend a different route (or better still, going some place else)."


Pepys et al negotiated this without buoys and detailed charts. They must have used a local pilot!

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


  • Apr