This small entrance into the Gravesend basin is at one end of the Thames and Medway Canal, which ran to Strood on the Medway river. The canal was first mooted by engineer Ralph Dodd in 1778 as a shortcut for military craft from Deptford and Woolwich Dockyards on the Thames to Chatham Dockyard on the Medway, avoiding the 74 km (46 mi) journey round the peninsula and through the Thames estuary. Built in response to fears that enemy ships might venture into the Thames estuary and attack the navel dockyards at Deptford, Woolwich, and Chatham. It was also intended to take commercial traffic between the two rivers. Sadly the canal was never the success it was hoped and revenue was low, the coming of the railway meant canals were yesterday's means of transport and it was officially abandoned in 1934.