Ramsgate is a seaside town in the district of
Thanet in east Kent,
England. It was one of the great English seaside towns of the 19th
century. In 2001 it had a population of around 40,000. Ramsgate’s
main attraction is its coastline, and its main industries are tourism
and fishing. The town has one of the largest marinas on the English
south coast, and the
Port of Ramsgate
Port of Ramsgate has provided cross-channel
ferries for many years.
6.3 Arts and local media
8.1 By sea
8.2 By road
8.3 By rail
8.4 By air
10 Twin towns
11 See also
14 External links
Main article: History of Ramsgate
Ramsgate Sands in 1854
Photochrom of The sands, 1899
Ramsgate began as a fishing and farming hamlet.
Christian missionary St Augustine, sent by Pope Gregory the Great,
Ramsgate in 597AD. The town is home to the Shrine of St
The earliest reference to the town is in the
Kent Hundred Rolls of
1274-5, both as Remmesgate (in the local personal name of ‘Christina
de Remmesgate’) and Remisgat (with reference to the town). The
names Ramisgate and Raunsgate appear in the parish of St. Laurence
records circa 1290. These are all derived from late Anglo-Saxon
‘Hremmes’ from earlier ‘Hræfnes’ (raven’s) and ‘geat’
(gate), with reference to the gap in the cliffs. In 1357, the area
became known as Ramesgate.
Ramsgate was a member of the Confederation of Cinque Ports, under the
'Limb' of Sandwich, Kent.
The construction of
Ramsgate Harbour began in 1749 and was completed
in about 1850. The harbour has the distinction of being the only Royal
Harbour in the United Kingdom. Because of its proximity to mainland
Ramsgate was a chief embarkation point both during the
Napoleonic Wars and for the
Dunkirk evacuation in 1940.
The Official Illustrated Guide to South-Eastern and North and Mid-Kent
Railways (June 1863) by George Measom from describes
'It is impossible to speak too favourably of this first rate town, its
glorious sands, its bathing, its hotels, libraries, churches,etc. etc.
not forgetting its bracing climate...The streets of
Ramsgate are well
paved or macadamed and brilliantly lighted with gas.'
A W Pugin
A W Pugin and his sons lived in
Ramsgate and built
several important buildings there, including St Augustine's Church,
The Grange, St Augustine's Abbey, and The Granville Hotel.
Vincent Van Gogh
Vincent Van Gogh moved to
Ramsgate in April 1876, at age
23. He boarded at 11 Spencer Square, which is identified by a blue
plaque. He obtained work as a teacher at a local school in Royal Road,
where he received his post. In one of his letters  to his
brother Theo, he described his surroundings: "There’s a harbour full
of all kinds of ships, closed in by stone jetties running into the sea
on which one can walk. And further out one sees the sea in its natural
state, and that’s beautiful."
In 1901, an electric tram service, one of the few inter-urban tramways
in Britain, was introduced on the Isle of Thanet. The towns of
Broadstairs were linked by 11 miles of
In 1915–1916, early aircraft began to use the open farmland at
Manston as a site for emergency landings. The location near the Kent
coast gave Manston some advantages over the other previously
established aerodromes. During the First World War,
Ramsgate was the
target of bombing raids by Zeppelin airships. By 1917 the Royal Flying
Corps was well established and taking an active part in the defence of
Britain. As RAF Manston, the aerodrome played an important role in the
Second World War. It is now called
Kent International Airport, but is
currently not operational.
Second World War
Second World War approached,
Ramsgate Borough Council embarked
on plans to create a network of Deep Shelter tunnels linking to a
former railway tunnel which would provide shelter for 60,000 people.
The tunnels were opened on 1 June 1939. 75 years later, in 2014, a
part of this network was opened to visitors. 
In October 1939, the
Royal Navy established a
Coastal Forces base at
Ramsgate called HMS Fervent, which operated Motor Torpedo Boats, Motor
Gun Boats and Motor Launches until September 1945. From 27 May 1940,
Ramsgate harbour was the main assembly point for the build-up of small
craft needed for Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of the British
Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk. Once the evacuation was under
Ramsgate became the second-busiest port after Dover, and just
under 43,000 men passed through the port, transported onwards by 82
A map of
Ramsgate from 1945
Ramsgate is located 78 miles from central London in an east
south-easterly direction at one of the most easterly points of the
United Kingdom (the furthest point east is
Lowestoft in Suffolk).
The town is an amalgamation of two settlements: a fishing community on
the coast in the shallow valley between two chalk cliffs, and an
inland farming community that is now the Parish of St Lawrence. The
cliffs are known as the East Cliff and the West Cliff and are
predominantly residential areas. There are promenades along both cliff
tops with parks at either end and sandy beaches on the coast.
Ramsgate has an oceanic climate (
Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification Cfb)
as is typical in the United Kingdom; the nearest Met Office weather
station for which data is available is Manston Airport, about two
miles west of the town centre.
The highest temperature ever recorded is 34.6 °C
(94.3 °F) in August 2003, though typically the warmest day
of the year averages 28.5 °C (83.3 °F) and 8.8
days will record a temperature of 25.1 °C (77.2 °F) or
The lowest recorded temperature is -14.5 °C (5.9 °F),
in February 1986, though typically the coldest night of the year
averages -6.2 °C (20.8 °F). A total of 26.9 days
of the year should record an air frost.
Rainfall averages around 600 mm per year, a figure similar to that
for the driest parts of England. Over 1 mm of rain can be expected on
106.6 days. Averages refer to a mixture of the 1971-2000 and
1981-2010 climate periods.
Being close to the coast, and in Southern England, sunshine compares
favourably with most of the United Kingdom, at over 1800 hours a
year. Only the Sussex coast tends to be notably sunnier, although much
of the remainder of the south coast receives a similar amount of
sunshine as Ramsgate.
Climate data for Manston, elevation 54m, 1981-2010, extremes 1960-
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average rainfall mm (inches)
Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Source #1: Met Office
Source #2: KNMI
Ramsgate is in the parliamentary constituency of
Thanet South, which
is represented by Conservative MP Craig Mackinlay. He won the seat in
the 2015 general election, representing a Conservative hold after
Laura Sandys won the seat for the Conservatives in the 2010 General
Before 6 May 2010, the MP for
Ramsgate was Stephen Ladyman, a Labour
minister; he was preceded by Jonathan Aitken.
Ramsgate was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1884. This was
abolished in 1974, since when
Ramsgate has been part of the Thanet
local government district. The town is made up of seven electoral
wards: Central Harbour,
Cliffsend and Pegwell, Eastcliff, Nethercourt,
Newington, Northwood, and Sir Moses Montefiore. These wards have
seventeen of the fifty-six seats on the
Thanet District Council; since
the 2011 local elections fifteen of those seats have been held by
Labour and two by the Conservative Party. Currently the council is
run by a
Following a successful campaign by local activist Gerry O'Donnell, a
town council was established for
Ramsgate in June 2009.[citation
needed] The Town Mayor of
Ramsgate is currently Councillor Trevor
Ramsgate marina, location of many popular bars and pubs
Ramsgate's main industries are tourism and fishing. The town has a
thriving marina with over 800 moorings and a range of marine-related
businesses that operate in the renovated arches under Royal Parade.
Colleges in the town also cater for students of English as a foreign
Ramsgate has the most valuable fish landings in Kent
(~£700,000 in 2003), the fishing industry is in decline.
Port of Ramsgate
Port of Ramsgate has provided cross-channel ferries for many
Sally Ferries UK
Sally Ferries UK provided a passenger and car ferry
service to Dunkirk. Until April 2013,
Transeuropa Ferries operated a
freight and car ferry between
Ramsgate and Oostende.
Thanet stands at 4.1%; this is higher than the
national average (2.5%).
There is some light industry in the town. An emerging industry is
power generation, with 800 jobs expected to be created by the Thanet
offshore wind project, a wind farm just off the coast.
Ramsgate market is held in High Street, King Street and Queen Street
every Friday and Saturday between 8:00 a.m. and
Ramsgate has a LETS scheme (RAMLETS) which was set up in 2014 enabling
residents to trade goods and services using the virtual currency RAMs.
It is working with the Newington Wellbeing Network to improve the
lives of people living in the Newington ward of Ramsgate.
2001 UK Census
Over 65 years old
According to the 2001 UK census,
Ramsgate has a population of
The ethnicity of the town was 98.0% white, 0.8% mixed race, 0.3%
black, 0.3% Chinese, 0.4% other Asian and 0.1% other ethnicity.
The place of birth of residents was 95.6% United Kingdom, 0.7%
Republic of Ireland, 0.6% Germany, 0.6% other Western European
countries, 0.3% Eastern Europe, 0.6% Far East, 0.5% Africa, 0.3% North
America, 0.3% South Asia, 0.2% Middle East, 0.2%
Oceania and 0.1%
Religion was recorded as 71.6% Christian, 0.3% Muslim, 0.1% Hindu,
0.3% Buddhist, 0.1%
Sikh and 0.1% Jewish. 17.9% were recorded as
having no religion, 0.3% had an alternative religion and 7.1% didn't
state their religion.
For every 100 women, there were 91.2 men. The age distribution was 6%
aged 0–4 years, 16% aged 5–15 years, 5% aged
16–19 years, 31% aged 20–44 years, 24% aged
45–64 years and 18% aged 65 years and over.
Ramsgate Main Sands
Ramsgate's main attraction is its coastline, particularly Ramsgate
Main Sands, which was awarded a Blue Flag in 2015.
Ramsgate's wartime deep shelter tunnels are open to the public for
tours, which have been running since 2014.
The local council publishes a website specifically aimed at tourists
Ramsgate and neighbouring towns.
There is an annual regatta event based at
Ramsgate during the
Ramsgate carnival is an annual parade that takes place during the
summer. Other events include the annual Addington Street Fair and
the French Market.
Ramsgate’s main football club,
Ramsgate FC, plays in the Isthmian
League Division One South. The local rivals of the club are Margate
FC, situated 4 miles away. When the two teams meet, it is known
Ramsgate FC run a reserves team, which plays in
Kent Football League Second Division, and a women’s team, which
plays in the South East Counties Women’s League
Ramsgate FC run five youth teams; the under-13 to under-18
teams compete in the Valley Express
Kent Youth League, and the club
Ramsgate Youth U7 to U16, which play in the Molten East Kent
Youth League. Two other youth teams in
Ramsgate are Trinity and Hugin
Vikings; both play in The Molten East
Kent Youth League.
Thanet Wanderers is the island’s only rugby team and has played at
London Division 1 level, achieving its best result by defeating
Doncaster at Twickenham in the final of the Intermediate Cup in 1997.
The club runs five senior sides and many junior teams, all of which
play at St Peter's.
Cliftonville Hockey Club plays its home matches at St Lawrence College
and has a clubhouse that it shares with
Broadstairs Cricket Club.
Thanet Galaxy is a Pan Disability Football Club that provides
structured coaching for male and female footballers of all ages who
qualify within the nationally and internationally recognised Pan
Disability categories. The club trains at Chatham House Grammar School
and plays in
Kent Disability Football League in three age bands: U-11,
U-16, and 16+. In their first season (2008/2009), the adult A team won
Kent Disability League Adult Championship.
Ramsgate’s sports facilities include a public swimming pool,
and a fitness centre with a gym and sports hall. Tennis clubs can
be found at Spencer Square and St Laurence.
Ramsgate has three golf
clubs: St Augustine's, Stonelees, and Manston. There is
also a sailing club, the Royal Temple Yacht Club, which is steeped in
yacht-racing history and hosts racing throughout the year for a
variety of historic trophies. The highlight of the season is the
annual international sailing regatta, known as '
Ramsgate Week', which
is usually held in August.
Arts and local media
Ramsgate Maritime Museum
The Gallery IOTA (Isle Of
Thanet Arts) was based on the towns west
cliff but is now on the harbour front.
Ramsgate Maritime Museum
near the harbour quayside has exhibits showing the evolution of
Ramsgate Harbour and east
Kent maritime history. One of Ramsgate's
cinemas and theatres is the Granville Cinema, situated on Victoria
Parade, in the town's Eastcliff area. The King's Theatre is situated
near the town centre and offers shows, community events and a seniors'
club every Monday. Talks on Ramsgate's history are frequently held
Ramsgate has two paid-for newspapers, the Isle of
Thanet Gazette and
Thanet Times, both of which are owned by Northcliffe Media. Free
newspapers covering the town include the
Thanet Extra, part of the KM
Group; and yourthanet, belonging to KOS Media.
The local radio stations are KMFM Thanet, owned by the KM Group,
community radio station Academy FM (Thanet), and the county-wide
stations Heart Kent, Gold and BBC Radio Kent.
Thanet Community Radio
(TCR  offers an online arts- and features-based service for Thanet
District and the surrounding area where people can listen to podcasts
of local interest. The service works closely with
Viking longship in Pegwell.
The Hugin is a reconstructed
Viking longship located at Pegwell Bay in
Ramsgate. It was a gift from the Danish government in commemoration of
the 1500th anniversary of the legendary arrival of Hengist and Horsa
England in the year 449.
Main article: Historic Buildings in Ramsgate
There are many Regency and Victorian buildings in Ramsgate. In all,
there are 900 listed buildings in the town with more than 200 in the
vicinity of the harbour. One of the town's most notable buildings
is the 18th century
Townley House designed by Mary Townley.
The town has three notable churches. The first building used for
worship in the
Thanet parish of 'St Lawrence' was at St
Laurence-in-Thanet; it was built in 1062 and rebuilt during the
following centuries with the most significant changes made in the 16th
century. Note the difference in spelling between the village of St
Lawrence and its church, which is dedicated to the Roman Martyr
The second notable church is St Augustine's, which is situated on the
town's West Cliff. It was designed by
Augustus Pugin in 1847 in the
Gothic Revival style. Its dedication commemorates Augustine, the first
Archbishop of Canterbury, who landed at
Ramsgate in AD 597 bringing
Christianity to Britain. In March 2012 the church was designated a
shrine to St Augustine of Canterbury; this ended a five-century
absence of a shrine to St Augustine, as the original (at St
Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury) had been destroyed during the
Thirdly, the town's parish church of St George is situated just off
the High Street. Its lantern tower was added at the request of Trinity
House as a navigational aid to passing ships and looks over the town.
The ground was consecrated on 23 October 1827.
St Augustine's is part of the
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark,
Laurence and St George are both Church of
England and serve
Anglican community as part of the Diocese of Canterbury. Christ
Church, built in 1847, also serves the
Ramsgate library was originally built and paid for by Andrew Carnegie
in 1904. On the evening of Friday 13 August 2004, it was destroyed by
fire just two months short of its 100th anniversary. Though
suspicions were raised about the causes of the fire, due to a
similarly timed fire at the town's registry office, an investigation
was unable to establish how the fire had started.
Shortly after the blaze, planning permission was granted for a new
library. The library has now been fully restored, and was officially
re-opened on 20 February 2009.
Main article: Port of Ramsgate
Port of Ramsgate
Port of Ramsgate has a 700 berth marina, Royal Harbour Marina, and
a ferry terminal built on reclaimed land. The harbour provides shelter
from the effects of storms. The
Goodwin Sands are nearby. In 2005, the
marina had 12,000 visiting boats. Transeuropa Ferries
passenger (with vehicle only) and freight ferries sailed until April
2013 to the Port of
Ostend in Ostend, Belgium. The Port of Ramsgate
has its own road access tunnel from outside the town, avoiding town
centre congestion. The
Ramsgate Lifeboat Station
Ramsgate Lifeboat Station is in Ramsgate
Ramsgate is connected to the national road network primarily through
Thanet Way, which continues on to the M2/A2 for the M25
(approx 1 hour) and London. The A256 provides a link to
onwards to the A20 for the Channel Tunnel. Bus services are provided
by Stagecoach East
Kent and also serve Broadstairs, Canterbury,
Sandwich and Margate.
Ramsgate railway station
Ramsgate railway station
Ramsgate railway station is situated at the top of the town near the
parish of St Lawrence.
A new high-speed service to London started in December 2009, running
on High Speed 1 (HS1), the UK’s first high-speed rail line, between
St Pancras station
St Pancras station and Kent. The journey time from Ramsgate
to the new St Pancras terminal, with excellent transport links, is
1 hour 16 minutes.
In March 2015, it was announced that journey times between Ramsgate
and London St. Pancras are expected to be reduced to 63 minutes in
2019, due to infrastructure enhancements.
Other trains run from
Ramsgate to London Charing Cross and London
Victoria. Commuting time to the capital on these lines is
approximately 1 hour 50 minutes.
Ramsgate are routed via Margate, Chatham and Bromley
South, or via
Canterbury West or
Dover Priory and Ashford
Ramsgate railway station
Ramsgate railway station is operated by Southeastern.
A municipal airport was opened on 1 July 1935, operating until the
Second World War
Second World War broke out in 1939. Following a short spell as a
satellite of RAF Manston, it closed in 1940. The airport was re-opened
in 1952 and operated until closure in 1968.
Kent International Airport
The town is situated directly under the flight path of Kent
International Airport at Manston. From September 2004 to August 2005 a
EUjet operated frequent flights to many European
destinations, replacing a large freight operator. However, flights
were suspended after the collapse of its parent company, PlaneStation
Manston was sold to
Infratil (owner of Glasgow Prestwick International
Airport) on 26 August 2005. Until May 2014, KLM Cityhopper operated
two daily passenger flights from the airport to Schiphol airport in
the Netherlands. The airport was regularly used by freight operators
such as Cargolux and Meridian.
The Airport was sold to
Ann Gloag in November 2013. She was reported
to be seeking a buyer, but her spokesman reported that a buyer had not
been found, and the airport closed on 15 May 2014.
St Lawrence College public school in Ramsgate
Dame Janet Infant School
Ellington Infants School
Priory Infants School
Christ Church C Of E Junior School
Dame Janet Junior School
St Ethelbert's R C Junior Mixed & Infants School
Thanet CE Junior School
Newington Community Primary School
Newlands Primary School
Chilton County Primary School
Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School
The Royal Harbour Academy
St Lawrence College
Colleges and further education
Ramsgate's nearest college is East
Kent College. This is situated in
the nearby town of Broadstairs. There is also a campus for Canterbury
Christ Church University in Broadstairs, which is within very easy
reach of Ramsgate. There is also a sixth form at Chatham and Clarendon
Grammar School, and St. Lawrence College, which are the only two sixth
forms in the town.
- Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, France
- Chimay, Belgium
- Frederikssund, Denmark
Ramsgate lifeboat station
Ramsgate lifeboat station Provides an inshore boat and an offshore
Ramsgate Harbour railway station
Ramsgate Town railway station
Ramsgate Cliff Railway
List of people from Thanet#Ramsgate
St Ethelbert's church, Ramsgate
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Ramsgate and Margate
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Ramsgate, Thanet, Kent". Retrieved 21 August 2016.
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Ramsgate swimming pool is around 30 years old and will be
^ "404 - Page - Your Leisure". Retrieved 21 August 2016.
^ "404 - Page - Your Leisure". Retrieved 21 August 2016.
^ "History - St Augustines Golf Course". Retrieved 21 August
^ Stonelees Golf Club
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Ramsgate Library's rebirth Trusted article source icon". this is
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Martin Easdown, A Fateful Finger of Iron: The Story of the Ill-fated
Ramsgate Promenade Pier Within a Resort History of the Town, Michaels
Bookshop (Jul 2006), ISBN 1-905477-65-1
Ramsgate From the Ground: An Alternative Look at the
Town and Its History, Michaels Bookshop (April 2006),
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ramsgate.
Ramsgate travel guide from Wikivoyage
Ramsgate Town Council
Towns and villages in the
Thanet district of Kent, England
Broadstairs and St Peter's (town)
List of places in Kent
Ceremonial county of Kent
Borough of Medway
Boroughs or districts
Borough of Ashford
Borough of Dartford
Borough of Gravesham
Borough of Maidstone
Borough of Swale
Tonbridge and Malling
Borough of Tunbridge Wells
City of Canterbury
District of Dover
Folkestone & Hythe
District of Sevenoaks
District of Thanet
Royal Tunbridge Wells
See also: List of civil parishes in Kent
See: Rivers of Kent
Population of major settlements
Grade I listed buildings
Grade II* listed buildings