Old Ramsgate (then and now)

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

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

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Welcome to "Old Ramsgate"...

Identical scenes from last century and today...

I hope you enjoy this blog - it's a collection of photos of the town of Ramsgate during it's early heyday, compared with the same scenes today, over a hundred years later. I find it interesting to see what has changed over all the years.
Click on a link (to the left) under "Recent Posts", to visit different areas of the town, and I hope you enjoy the journey back in time!

A description of Ramsgate in a Victorian journal of the Nineteenth century:
"The streets of Ramsgate are well paved or macadamised, and brilliantly lighted with gas. There are establishments and a savings bank, with a literary institute, assembly-rooms, a small theatre, several good libraries, dispensary, town-hall, custom-house, music-hall, gas-works, water- works, &c. An excellent promenade on the West Cliff has been laid out in an ornamental manner, and forms a delightful source of healthy recreation. The bathing-machines are under the East Cliff where also, as well as in front of the harbour, there are well-appointed warm baths, &c. The markets are extremely well supplied meat, excellent fish, & ; and few places on the coast are so cheap, as well as healthy and agreeable for a summer’s residence.
We need not be surprised at the popularity which Ramsgate continues to enjoy as a watering place, when these and many other advantages present themselves for the convenience of the visitor.
The environs of Ramsgate are charmingly picturesque and diversified. Several handsome residences are here. East Cliff Lodge, pleasantly situated about a mile to the north-east of the town, is a large marine villa, belonging to Sir Moses Montefiore, Knight. The caverns at East Cliff deserve particular notice: they are formed by an excavation at the distance of thirty feet from the cliff, and parallel with it, descending gradually to the level of the shore. This subterraneous passage receives its light from arches of such large capacity as to resemble rooms, which are cut at right angles through the chalky cliffs opening to the sea and these arches being in summer carpeted with turf, and covered with shrubs and flowers, appear very picturesque. The lowest arch terminates in a passage leading directly to the beach.
Sir Moses Montefiore has, at his own expense, erected a synagogue at Hereson.
About a quarter of a mile westward of Ramsgate, is Ellington. In the reign of Elizabeth, this estate became the property of the Spracklings, several of whom lie buried in the chancel of St. Lawrence."

Below is a very old picture from 1788, which shows "The Bathing Place" at Ramsgate...
Does anyone know exactly where this was, from looking at the picture?

Feel free to add a comment with your answer!

Many Thanks to Janet & Richard's Genealogy Homepage for their kind permission to use many of the original postcards from their personal collection. More 'Ramsgate in old postcards' and other useful information can be found on their site here, or from the links page.
Recent Updates:
20/11/07 - Amended links to posts in template to ensure they are always visible.

"Ramsgate - Then & Now" has recently been published by the History Press, in an attractive 96 page book. This first edition includes all of the old & new images from this site, as well as many more, and over 10,000 words of supporting captions and historical information, to complement the images.
If you have enjoyed visiting this site, why not buy the book, which would make the perfect gift for any Ramsgatonian, old or new!
£9.99 (inc. P&P)


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I now live in Australia,my parents emigrated soon after the war.
Now retired I'm looking for my past!
As I have never returned to the UK and unlikely to do so I enjoy your site as I can visit Ramsgate by proxy.

9:51 pm  
Blogger Michael Child said...

The thing in the middle of the picture, that I believe is a coal hopper, is shown in a picture in Busson’s book about Ramsgate from another angle. It’s about where the slipway is now so the picture is of about where the Royal Victoria Pavilion is now.

2:16 pm  
Blogger Vince R said...

Thanks Michael!

3:38 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this website is good

5:07 pm  
Blogger Peter C said...

Wow, fantastic site! Amazing how little most of Ramsgate has changed (apart from the lack of visitors now).

I'd love to see someone do something similar for the rest of Thanet (particularly Margate, as I live in nearby Westbrook).

9:22 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have really enjoyed looking at both sites. This one and the Underground Thanet site. Even though I'm 25, I've lived in Thanet all my life and have always been interested in learning the history of my favorite town. I've always had to rely on my Nan to tell me her 'stories' of when she was young and what the place was like and what she did and now with your pictures and wonderful descriptions I can now imagine what it would've been like if I was there.
Keep up the good work and I will definitely be showing my son these sites when he's older and hopefully he will appreciate them as Much as I have.

10:45 pm  
Blogger Don Wood said...

I go woith what Micheal says about the slipway due to the flag pole and Australia Mike welcome to Thanet even if it is by proxy

5:15 pm  
Anonymous kate said...

I intend to buy the book,my g.grandfather x4 was the harbour master in Ramsgate and it states that he lived at 'pier house' any idea where I could find an engraving/image of pier house.

8:42 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have read all ur sites, very interesting esp. the latest tunnels u discovered. Sacarilidge that Thanet Council r building flats there, instead of opening it up to the public, like Dovers tunnels.I find it terrible that they can do that.
Please could you help me on some info. about Westcliff Terrace Mansions, Pegwell Road. I used to live there. I find it strange that there r no pics. of it anywhere, and the only info. I have is that it was built in 1840 by Alderman James Wire, which I got from the Archives at Ramsgate Library. I was told that Queen Victoria stayed there, but have found out that wasn't true, so who did live in a spectacular mansion like that ? Please could u help. Thanks.

12:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"during it's early heyday"

Its. No apostrophe.

10:28 am  
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! ;-)

4:10 pm  
Blogger Vastrida said...

Great to see these photos before I revisit Ramsgate later this week.
Anyone remember the rock shop where you could stand and watch the rock being made. Mmmmm can smell it now. Doubt if it would be considered hygenic today.lol.

6:13 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

As a small child we holidayed in Ramsgate, my 2 maiden aunts run holiday rooms for workers of the Lyons tea houses. I can't remember it clearly, But I think these rooms were above the Lyons shop underneath? and the side entrance where we went in was a small alleyway by the rock shop large plate glass window. I used to stand for ages watching them making the rock on a large marble surface. I think my 2 aunts made sure the guests were tended to and that the rooms and lounges etc were clean and nice. anyone know where i mean? I also pestered my parents for a toy rabbit right in the front of a toy shop window, the lady said he had lived so long there they were reluctant to actually sell him!, however I won and he came home with me, I am now 60 and still have him . I also remember a place called Merry England which was an arcade with lots of penny spending machines,Happy memories, I live in the wilds of Gloucestershire now, and have never returned to Ramsgate since then.

8:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in Ramsgate.. left in 1961 to go to America. I remember the rock shop and also Pelosis where we would have hot orange juice and great milk shakes... and Stoneleight's Dairy on Grange Road.. What wonderful memories. I returned twice, each time a little more disappointed at the changes. I prefer the memories!

10:13 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi, I wonder if anyone could help pinpoint the track that this painter set-up his easel above Pegwell Bay in 1833 or 1853?

Looking at an 1872 OS map, it looks like he was above Chilton & that's Pegwell down by the sea?

Can't see how to add image to this blogger, so the picture is in dropbox


OldMaps.com offer grim resolution online, so I wonder if actual buildings are identifiable on old OS maps

My effort at this view in Google earth is linkled below. It's just above The Chiltern Tavern. Perhaps he artist was furthur back on the old roman road track?


4:09 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

Lyons had a place for workers convalescence above tea shop that became Jolly Fryer chip shop (mid 60s) in Harbour Street.

3:38 am  

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