1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Erith
ERITH, an urban district in the north-western parliamentary division of Kent, England, 14 m. E. by S. of London, on the South Eastern & Chatham railway. Pop. (1891) 13,414; (1901) 25,296. It lies on the south bank of the Thames and extends up the hills above the shore, many villas having been erected on the higher ground. The park of a former seat, Belvedere, was thus built over (c. 1860), and the mansion became a home for disabled seamen. The church of St John the Baptist, though largely altered by modern restoration, retains Early English to Perpendicular portions, and some early monuments and brasses. Erith has large engineering and gun factories, and in the neighbourhood are gunpowder, oil, glue and manure works. The southern outfall works of the London main drainage system are at Crossness in the neighbouring lowland called Plumstead Marshes. Erith is the headquarters of several yacht clubs. Erith, the name of which is commonly derived from A.S. Ærra-hythe (old haven), was anciently a borough, and was granted a market and fairs in 1313. Down to the close of the 17th century it was of some importance as a naval station.