Thames Tributary Mardyke
The Mardyke turns south and discharges into the Thames
Post to the north Purfleet Ranges
Post to the south Darent Mouth
Post to the east Purfleet
Post to the west Crayfordness
Flooding has always been a problem in the Thames Estuary. In the 16th tons of chalk from Purfleet was used to strengthen the sea-walls. The great flood of 1953 brought much damage to industrial Purfleet. A massive wall, which took 20 years to complete, now prevents another encroachment.
The Mardyke was once the boundary between local authorities areas – the boundary has been moved North West to the edge of what were the ranges – and is also now the London/Essex boundary.
Does the fleet' in Purfleet imply a harbour and thus implies a natural channel on the Mardyke - rather than 'dyke' which is a word for an artificial ditch. In this area the Mardyke is often described as a ‘drainage ditch’ and it has been suggested that the stream is older than the Thames and that it was once a continuation of the Darenth flowing north into the Thames from Kent, and which has a mouth directly across river from that of the Mardyke.
The mouth of the Mardyke is on part of the RSPB reserve and some hides overlook it. This area was once part of the Purfleet ranges.
New Foot Bridge across the Mardyke
Sculpture on the Thurrock side of the Mardyke called The Engagement Ring because it unites Purfleet and Rainham
Military railway - a line from a jetty on the Thames, crossed the mouth of the Mar Dyke and followed it northwards.