Old Ramsgate (then and now)

Identical scenes from the town of Ramsgate (Isle of Thanet) from past centuries and today

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Town

Ramsgate High Street, c.1905

Ramsgate High Street, 2006

The main Precinct in Ramsgate High St, this is the cross roads with Harbour Street straight ahead, King Street to the left, and Queen Street to the right. The original building on the right with the pillared frontage is now the Halifax building society, with the front facade having been redeveloped, minus the attractive pillars. Page & Sons is now the Harbour Parade Bar.


High Street, looking towards Queen Sreet, 1907

Same view, 99 years later!

Original picture: This was taken during the "French Visit" of August 6th, 1907. The pillared building on the left is now the Halifax. As in the previous picture, the frontage has changed significantly, but this distinctive corner building is still recognizable. I think these days Health and Safety would have something to say about that crowd of people standing on the roof, with no safety railings!


Vale Road, c.1890

Vale Road, 2006

The Vale Tavern still very much in use! Scene hasn't really changed that much except for the obvious addition of cars. Any more changes? Play "spot the difference"!


Plains of Waterloo, c.1905

Plains of Waterloo, 2006

No. 50 is still a grocery store, a hundred years later!


Spencer Square, c.1900's

Spencer Square, 2006

The original bowling green is now tennis courts. Carlton House was originally a YMCA hostel in the early picture, not any more! Other than the new pavillion/refreshments building, not a lot else has changed, probably because these buildings are all grade 2 listed.


St. Mildreds Road, c.1900's

St. Mildreds Road, 2006

Nice to see the trees still remain!


St. George's church, c.1895 and 2006

St. Augustine's Abbey, c.1900's St. Augustines Abbey, 2006

Designed by the famous local architect, Augustus Pugin. Note the two lion statuettes above the gate... see if you can spot these same statuettes in a picture of another famous Pugin building on this site


No. 6, Albion Hill, 1915

The same building, 2006

Since repaired!

The original photo shows no.6 Albion Hill, damaged by a Zepellin airship raid during the First World War. This was likely one of the first times the town had ever experienced an aerial bombardment, judging by the look of wonderment on some of the local's faces.


Aberdeen House, c.1905

Aberdeen House, 2006


Hereson Road Station, 1958

Same view, from the platform, 1958

Site of Hereson Road station, 2006

The Hereson road entrance to the 'Scenic Railway' was opened on July 31st, 1936, and closed in 1964. It joined with the main Station at Ramsgate Sands (see Ramsgate Sands and eastcliff post).

The tunnel entrance was filled in, and the station site is now a second hand car dealership.


The old Ramsgate Town Station (c.1900)

Site of the old Ramsgate Town Station, 2007

In the mid-1800's, the old windmills on this site were pulled down to make way for the original Ramsgate town railway station. It was located at the top of Margate Road, next to the Hovis Mill site.

During the First World War, the station received a direct hit from a Zeppelin air raid, and was never used again. In 1926 McAlpines built the railway through from Margate to Canterbury and the site lay derelict for many years. After the Second World War the site was cleared and the existing Chatham Court flats were built in it's place.


Ramsgate Mill, 1900

The Ramsgate Mill as it was in 1900. Note the horse and cart at the side of the mill, and the old railway on the far left

Ramsgate Mill, 2007

The additional frontage to the main building (the screen room) was constructed in the early 1900's and the large silo to the left was built in 1935.

The site was closed in 2005 as Rank Hovis deemed it was no longer commercially viable. The site is up for sale, and will likely be converted into residential flats. The main building is grade 2 listed.


Ramsgate Library, 1904

Ramsgate Library (remains of!), 2007

The grand building which was Ramsgate Library was built in 1904. The original postcard shows it during the winter time. The park in the original photo has long vanished, and has since been built on with houses, as can be seen in the modern photo. Sadly, only a few months away from it's centenary, the library was completely destroyed by an arson attack in August 2004, with only the Edwardian facade remaining. Plans to rebuild it are progressing well.

Harbour Street, 1900

Harbour Street, 2007


High Street, c.1905

High Street, 2007

Sadly this view from the top of Ramsgate High Street is obscured by temporary hoardings


Grange Road, c.1905

Note the Windmill in the centre of the picture, on the left side of the road. The windmill was one of several in Ramsgate, and was demolished many years ago. It is now a row of shops.

Grange Road, 2007

Without the Windmill!


St. Lawrence High Street, c.1905

St. Lawrence High Street, 2007

The differences between these two scenes is dramatic! The entire row of buildings on the right hand side of the High Street were demolished during the 1930's and '40's, to enable the road to be widened, so as to cope with increasing traffic demands. The Petrol Station and post office now stand in their place, with newer houses set further back. The fronts of the original terraced buildings would have been where the hatching is in the middle of the road in the new picture. You can also just make out the Wheatsheaf pub in the middle of the picture (behind the white road sign), and it was originally painted pink!


Augusta Road, c.1905

Augusta Road, 2007


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Blogger www.doverpast.co.uk said...

Wow, never seen that "Hereson Road Station, 1958" one before !

10:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember taking several trips on
the tunnel railway as a very young lad (I'm originally from Minster)and your photos bring back a lot of happy memories. Thanks a lot and keep up the good work!

3:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lived in Ramsgate in the 40's and 50's It is wonderful to look at so many memories. I was married there and my son was born there in1953, we are all now living in Atlanta ga. USA Thank you so much for your work. Miss Ramsgate 1950.

11:19 pm  
Blogger www.doverpast.co.uk said...

Great images of St Laurence High Street and Grange Road - know the old views well, but never appreciated the exact locations before !

8:36 pm  
Blogger sandy said...

My grandfather was William Albert Snoad from Ramsgate. Does anyone know of the Snoad name?

6:03 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

very interesting photo! i would like visit ramsgate!!! My ancestors (I m french) was poulterer in Ramsgate and i'm looking for photo about our shop! If someone know the Drincqbier family it could help me!

11:22 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent site Vince, hope your book does really well too.
I also love your tunnels pages...they bring back memories.
Hope we can see you soon,
Love to you and Fi
Becki Warner

7:27 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah memories! Great site Vin, hopefully be down to see you all soon. Love to Fee. Love Rob and Shian.

12:23 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a super trip to the past,
thank you

1:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading a book titled, "A Voyage at Anchor" by W. Clark Russell, dated 1899. The characters are anchored in the harbor near Deal Beach. In the chapter I read last night they took a day trip to Ramsgate. I decided to do some research online and found your wonderful postcards made at the time of the book itself. What a wonderful surprise! Thank you!

12:42 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was a wonderful trip back in time and a comparison with today.
I left Ramsgate in 1955 with my Mother. Our family name is Springate. I plan on coming home next year, but am sad to think of the changes I will find. My childhood memories were and are very precious to me. Thank you so much.

11:28 pm  
Blogger Mongoose2 said...

Are there any pictures of Queen Bertha Road prior to 1901. Especially around the junction of Southwood Road

5:49 pm  
Blogger bimber94 said...

The Hereson Road railway came to its sad end on the evening of November 5th, (1964?). There were huge crowds coming out of the dog track after a fireworks display, and into the station. There was a derailment (I think) and another fine attraction came to an end. I asked my mother after the fireworks display if we could go on the train; she refused. Premonition? I still remember the trains had no doors.

6:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Readers and onwer of web-site.

I am trying to find a photogprah of 26 plains of waterloo,Ramsgate. This address was the home of my gr. grandfather from about 1938 until his death in 1955.

Does anyone have a photogprah that I could have a copy of please?

Regards Shirley

10:24 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to live in Hereson Road but now live in Newcastle - great to see the old Tunnel Railway Station It would be wonderful to see a photo of the original Dumpton Park Railway Station before its demolition and replacement by a housing estate.

5:49 pm  
Anonymous Gordon Daffern said...

My late wife Gwenda and I spent our honeymoon at a pub called The Cannon Inn. I know that the pub is no more but are there any photos and does anyone know when it was demolished

3:59 pm  
Anonymous gailgniewosz@hotmail.com said...

My 5x grandparents lived in 1871, 131 High St, Ramsgate. They were also bakers prior to 1871. Their name was 'Minter'.
Does anyone have a photo of this building, as it is today or any year. Would really appreciate it to put with my family tree.
I enjoyed this site.
Gail (Australia).

9:44 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your views brought back happy memories of holidays in Ramsgate back in the late 40s early 50s as a young boy with my family. We stayed in Spencer Square at "UNeed AGuesthouse" owned by a Mrs Jones.
Memories also of St. Augustine's Abbey.

9:47 pm  
Blogger Vince R said...

Hi All - Just wanted to say thankyou for all your positive comments and questions. Sorry I haven't been able to reply to individual questions as yet, but will try to do so as soon as I get some time!
Stay tuned, as there are more updates to the site pending! ;-)

4:09 pm  
Blogger Johndege said...

I went to Assumption House, St Augustine's Prep School between 1961- 1965. I have been looking all over the NET to try and find photos of the school but in vain. can anbody help out. I do know for a fact that the school no longer exists.It got pulled down so something else has replaced it.

11:02 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your first photographs of Ramsgate town hall the building was pulled down at the end of the 1950s.It was then a Burtons tailors untill taken over by its present owners.B.Driver

8:05 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi ya, great pics, i love lookin at old pics of ramsgate. i am however looking for some old photos of ellington school when it was at ellington place especially and the very 1st ellington at grange rd but deffo more so ellington place ellington as i wen t there, want some pics of interior and exterior if poss, if anyone can help me on this subject please email me on dominiehb@hotmail.co.uk, thanx, x

12:19 pm  
Anonymous Lesley said...

Lesley from Ramsgate - Can anyone tell me if there was ever a hospital where flora road ramsgate has been built and if so what type of hospital it was? I live here now and have had some strange experinces and been told some stories.

1:40 pm  
Blogger John Holyer said...

To anonymous Springate'. our family comes from Ramsgate and my Mother's maiden name was 'Springate'. I suspect you and me are related. If you wish, you can contact me on john@jholyer.orangehome.co.uk

8:30 pm  
Anonymous Paul Narramore said...

It was good to see the old photo of Augusta Road. I was born and lived around the corner in Truro Road (6) and well remember the smell of bacon & eggs each summer morning as breakfasts were prepared for the holidaymakers.

10:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Gran Annie Wright owned a couple of fish shops in King Street, Ramsgate in the 1930's and she bought her fish from the harbour and sold it from her horse and cart supplying hotels and houses in the area. I lived at 42 King Street which was a greengrocers in the 50's and there was a bakers next door and I can still remember the wonderful smell of the bread being baked and the sight of the cheerful flour covered bakers from out of our back window. Does anyone remember Wards Fruiterers? Any info contact rwmiller@talktalk.net

8:51 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A smashing site. Spent my childhood holidays in Ramsgate during the sixties and your site bought back many happy memories

2:04 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've just found a refence in an old book to Ramsgate's 'TWO dog tracks'. I only know of the one at Dumpton. Does anyone know where the other one was? Many thanks. A most interesting site.

9:48 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The other dog track was Newington

7:21 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Hospital at Flora Road

7:23 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

johndege would need your email address

7:24 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gordon Daffern would need an email address

7:28 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lived in Ramsgate from 1945 until 1967. Can anyone tell me the name of the pub which was just up from Woolworths and Littlewoods. It was an old church and was famous for serving Tom collins and John collins. It would have been around the 1960 mark.

3:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the memories, my family moved to Ramsgate in 1970 and my teenage years were spent exploring this lovely seaside town.
From Easter to September the town belonged to the holiday makers, but rest of the year it belonged to the Ramsgatonians! It's been many years since I last saw the town, once again, thank you.

9:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Gt-Gt Grandfather was Capt. John Alfred Stupples (1872-1936) who was a Ramsgate fisherman along with his 3 brothers (George, Richard and Herbert).
He lived at 28 Bellevue Cottages (1891), 43 Plains of Waterloo (1894), 16 Union Street (1901) and 9 Flora Road (1911), and was the skipper of the Moss Rose steam trawler that used to do pleasure cruises in Ramsgate.
Darin, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

8:56 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a nice thing to see & compare the two pics of each place.I was born in Ramsagte a youngster with a fishing family going back many years to Coxswain of Ramsgate lifeboat Charles Fish many moons ago & beyond.I no longerlive in Ramsgate thoughmy mother is still resident there,it was such a lovely place to grow up I am just saddened by what it has become over the years just a shadow of a thriving harbour & fishing community,a welcoming holiday resort,it is nice that people like you post pictures like these ones of what was once a beautiful seaside resort.

1:18 pm  
Anonymous Gordon Daffern said...

Anonymous: My E mail is Gordondaffern@hotmail.com

10:07 pm  
Anonymous mark Nunan said...


picture of assumption house school, i think - the only one i can find.



12:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had our honeymoon at the clifftops in 1950, lovely people where we had bed and breakfast. Can't remeber their names though, but knew the house was at the top of the steps coming from the beach.

Have a photo of the lady, who I believe had a daughter at that time.

11:11 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to know how to add photos of the lady who we stayed with and my husband and I on our wedding day, I have chosen to ne anonymous for the time being. This is the second comment I have written, previous one about our honeymoon with the said lady.

11:28 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice site. I remember happy times spent in Ramsgate & Margate as a child.

It's nice to see so much of the town still remains as it was 100 yrs ago.
Living in Vancouver I miss seeing many historical buildings unfortunately they're not appreciated here.

5:58 am  
Anonymous DJS said...

My grandad and uncle ran a bycycle shop in King Street for many, many years it is now residental.I was born and lived in Ramsgate until I got married in 1969. My Mum still lives in Ramsgate and I visited her yesterday with my 2 grandchildrn who love to come to the beach. Also in King Street my great aunt and her son ran a coach firm called Fox's Coaches.Lovely memories thankyou

2:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i spent my first 27 years living in Ramsgate and this has brought back many wonderful memories,it's a shame things have changed over the years, well done and keep up the good work

8:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

re. johndege: Have you tried www.janetandrichardsgenealogy.co.uk.ramsgate in old post cards?

6:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Capt Stupples.
My G/Grandfather James Bruce was an apprentice seaman staying at Flora Rd. He latter married an Annie Stupples. Before the start of WW1 they emigrated to Canada. annie was killed in a road accident in the 30's. Any information about James's life at sea would be muck appreciated. Ken.G

6:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was SO excited to find your site... and the past and present pictures! I grew up on Vale Road just down from the pub on the other side of the road. Went to Clarendon House and spent many hours in the Ramsgate library... which I think was next door. So sad to hear that it was burned. I left Ramsgate in 1961 and live in the US now. Thank you for a wonderful website!!

10:34 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous, that pub was 'Heikeys' (spelt wrong I expect)and DJS, I remeber Fox's coaches very well. My family used them so much, your gt aunt was well known to all of them.

2:41 am  
Anonymous DJS said...

The pub was called Henekeys

12:05 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rember the tunnel railway wwell. loved it. last trip i made was 1952 aged 5. Moved to Gillingham June 52. Lived in Charles RD. Regards Mike

3:08 pm  
Anonymous Patann said...

loved looking through all the old photos but there are none of Queen Street. My 3xgreatgrandfather had a Bakers shop at No 50 in the 1840s, Name was Barman Bourn Austin. Are there any old photos of this part of town. I looked on Google maps and this is now an accountants. I wondered what the drawbridge type "patterns" are at each end of building. Up by burglar alarms, Are these new or original on building.

6:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked at bournes in ramsgate when I left school in 1975
Great memories .

5:29 pm  
Blogger malcy700 said...

Malcolm Lyndsell...The pub tht was up from wollies in the high st was known as Hennekys i think. Between the gen post office and wollies.

4:59 am  
Blogger malcy700 said...

My Dad was a cab driver in Ramsagate his name was Les Lyndsell. He worked for Spains Taxis on the station... He had a huge black car I remember. they wore chauffeur hats and clothes in those days. funny now....Tere was a music/record shop in the high st called golden & wind i think..I bought my 1st electric guitar there. It was crap...ha ha. But now it would be worth a lot. My friend and I played the shadows music all over town in the 60s. ha ha. funny really.

5:29 am  
Blogger malcy700 said...

Be honest me & my mates often sneaked into the tunnels with our torches at Dumpton, ended up in Cannon road if I remember correctly,soon after they sealed up the Cannon rd one. I was a barrow boy at Cannon rd coach station for a season. Those days it was busy. I remember the arcades and fairground. there was a zoo and an archery. all sorts of rides , Also many sellers of jewellery and souvenir's . hot dogs,candy floss, lots of sea food stalls. Amazing place

8:40 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Number 11 flora road is haunted FACT. Yes an old hospital was along the road.

12:16 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ramsgate historical society have a Facebook page, you will find a pic of dumpton station along with many other fab pics

8:21 am  
Blogger Maggie said...

My great grandfather Shepherd was a boot maker in Harbour Street, can anyone give me any information on the shop and the family please.
My email address is sadiepedder@btinternet.com

8:50 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

My great grandfather Daniel Hawkes had a fish & chip shop in King Street and my grandfather had a cockle and whelk stall in the harbour area in the late 1890's and early 1900's. I would like to find out more if anyone can help.

11:10 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

I spoke at length with my Great Uncle recently luckily before he sadly passed away just before Christmas. He told me that he used to go and stay with his Auntie Nelly (Ellen) who was married to a man called Walter Gore. He told me that they owned a hotel and restaurant in Harbour St maybe called the English Hotel?
He also said they had a small rock making business as well as running some pony and trap type things that used to run from the bottom of the hill to Pegwell bay and back. He also mentioned a stall selling teas, coffees and sandwiches and also a scrapyard.
This would have been in the 30's -40's. I know Walter died in 1947 aged 59 and I know Nelly died some time after after falling down some stairs. Can anyone tell me anything about them, I would love to find out some more.
Thank you.

8:35 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Jamie, there is a page on Facebook called Ramsgate Historical Society where you will find many photos and stories of old ramsgate and the man, Terry, who runs the page is very knowledgeable on all things Ramsgate. Hope this helps :-)

3:05 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

Carole Bennett, I believe your great grandfather was also my great grandfather, so I would love to hear from you!

My maiden name was Hawkes, and my father was raised in Ramsgate. His father ran a wet fish/fish and chip shop in the town, and I baslieve it was also on King Street!

5:45 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

Debs Marshall: Pleased to read your post and would like to hear more about your branch of the Hawkes family but not sure how to get in touch with you?

10:49 am  
Blogger john bennett said...


1:10 am  
Blogger Unknown said...



your family is listed at 24 the High Street according to the above list

9:56 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Darin, have you seen a book called A history of the Ramsgate Fishing Industry? It has mention of the surname Stupples and also The Moss Rose. The book is available from Michaels Book Shop in King Street Ramsgate.

4:05 pm  
Blogger ruralevalucas said...

I would be interested too in knowing the origins of Queen Bertha Road, having been born there in 1948 and my brothers later.

4:15 pm  
Blogger Horacio Milberg Uribelarrea said...

In Ramsgate there was an "Augusta House" most likely on Augusta Road. During the WWI (1914-19) an Argentine lady lived there with her second husband; she had five children from her first marriage, who went to public schools in England; and she had two other children that were born in Ramsgate. Was "Augusta House" a residential hotel or was it a private house? Any photos. Thank you!

10:16 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

I remember George Fox whom my dad Sid worked for next to Ossie Opkins bike shop, my Aunt Flo also used to work in the Cabin café opposite and my next door neighbour Cyril Bevan owned the cobblers just down the road. I had my stag night in the Duke of Kent in 1968 and the whole of King street was buzzing in those days it now resembles a rubbish tip and needs a few bulldozers too improve the place

1:49 pm  

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