For over a thousand years Greenwich was the site of a thriving ship and boatbuilding industry. A variety of ships were built up and down the Thames, but it was here on the south bank of the river where London's shipbuilding evolved when the Royal Docks of Deptford and Woolwich were established by King Henry VIII, who's palace stood between the two at Greenwich. On Greenwich Peninsular, Greenwich Marsh, all types of river craft and sea-going vessels were once built, and the marsh area gradually became a vast commercial zone for the manufacture of all types of shipping and industrial commodities. The riverfront itself was filled with cranes, wharfages and ships loading or un-loading their cargoes. A multitude of river craft, from small rowboats to giant steamers, once made their way along this point in the river, and the boroughs of Greenwich, Deptford and Woolwich became synonymous with new technology and engineering.