The town and its seaside heritage

Informed Conservation


April 21st, 2020





For over 250 years people have headed to Ramsgate for a day at the seaside – and discovered much more in the process. This book charts Ramsgate’s transformation from quiet fishing village to a ‘harbour of refuge’ and seaside resort, driven by the town’s strategic position on the east Kent coast. Once visited by a handful of intrepid sea bathers, improvements in passenger boats and the arrival in 1846 of the railway opened up the resort to thousands of holidaymakers, necessitating new bathing facilities and entertainment venues. Early 19th century Ramsgate was patronised by royalty and boasted up-to-date terraces, crescents and squares. The town attracted minority faith communities, represented by the synagogue completed in 1833 for Sir Moses Montefiore and A. W. N. Pugin’s Roman Catholic church of St Augustine (1845-50). This wide-ranging, accessible study tells the story of Ramsgate’s rich maritime and seaside heritage. It also profiles the challenges and opportunities that the town faces today in seeking to redefine itself as an attractive place to visit, live and work. Ramsgate: the town and its seaside heritage combines documentary research with insights derived from the town’s fascinating architectural heritage, illustrated with new and archival photographs.

‘Ramsgate now attracts retirees and commuters to London, especially with the new high speed line, though has areas of significant social deprivation and options for development and greater prosperity are discussed.’
Graham Kent, Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society


Author Information

Geraint Franklin is an architectural historian with Historic England. Nick Dermott is a Conservation Architect and acts as heritage advisor to Thanet District Council. He was a founder member and was for many years Chair of the Pugin Society. Allan Brodie is a Senior Investigator in Historic England. He is the author of a number of books about the history of tourism, including seven examining the development of seaside resorts.