'The Ferry' from Life on The Upper Thames by H R Robinson 1875
The ferry as an everyday feature of Thames life and worked as in the illustration was only found on the upper reaches of the river. The rope which had to be raised for large vessels passing would have been too inconvenient where traffic was heavier in the lower reaches. Other ferries were worked by punting or by a chain on the bed of the river which passed round the axle of a wheel on board the boat.
Tolls for horses varied from one to three old pennies and on some Thames Conservancy ferries were free for barge horses. Passengers paid one halfpenny and amazingly this fee had remained unchanged for over 300 years!
Of the once many ferries there are now only six in operation, all needless to say now motorised and somewhat larger than their forebears.