In order to examine the impact of the railway on travel, we needed to find out what travel was like in the area before 1841.
Our researchers found a letter from 1823, in which a young man writes to his cousin to describe his journey from his cousin’s home in Maidstone to London via Margate. The journey from Margate took him 9 hours :
Letter, 8 September 1832, page 1
Letter, 8 September 1832, page 2
A month later, after another trip, he writes again with another account of his journey. This time he took 9 hours to travel from Maidstone to Margate, then another 12 hours from Margate to London by steam ship:
Letter, 6 October 1823, page 1
Letter, 6 October 1823, page 2
Although his route was not the most direct from Maidstone to London, it gives a vivid impression of what a typical journey might have been like at this time: waiting in taverns for stagecoaches, suffering the wind and the rain on the top of the stagecoach, and bad weather causing unpleasant illness amongst the passengers on the steam ship!