Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for RAMSGATE

RAMSGATE, a town, a parish, and a sub-district, in Thanet district, Kent. The town stands on the coast, in an opening between cliffs, at the N side of the entrance of Pegwell bay, and at a meeting-point of the Southeastern and the London, Chatham, and Dover railway systems, 3½ miles S S W of the North Foreland, and 4 S S E of Margate; takes its name from Ruim, the ancient British designation of Thanet, and the "gate" or opening between the cliffs; was only a small fishing-village about the beginning of last century; began then to have a goodcommerce with Russia and the East country; acquired importance from the construction of a pier-harbour at itin 1750-95; rose thence into increasing prominence as a seat of trade; was the place where George IV-embarked for Hanover in 1821, and where the King and Queen of the Belgians landed in 1837; figures now as a well-frequented watering-place, slightly more aristocratic than Margate; consists of two portions, ancient and modern, the former occupying a depression of the chalk-cliffs, the latter containing the principal streets, with handsome crescents and terraces; commands a delightful prospect of coast and sea; possesses all kinds of excellent appliances for the use of sea-bathing visitors; is a seat ofpetty sessions and county courts, a polling-place, a coast-guard station, and a head port; publishes a weekly news-paper; and has a head post-office, ‡ a railway station withtelegraph, two banking offices, eight chief hotels, a market-place, a town hall, a custom-house, assembly-rooms, a music hall, an obelisk commemorative of George IV. 's embarkation, elegantly fitted baths, three churches, six dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, a Jews' synagogue, two good libraries, several public schools, a dispensary, and charities £59. St. George's church was built in 1827, at a cost of £30,000; is in a florid pointed style, with tower and spire 137 feet high; measures 148feet by 68½ feet; and contains 2,000 sittings. The chapel of ease was built in 1791, and was recently improved.

Markets are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays; supplies for the markets are brought by vessels from theFrench coast; ship-repairing, rope-making, brewing, and fishing are carried on; much business arises from the presence of numerous yachts, the plying of steam packets, and the visits of ships seeking refuge in the harbour; and a considerable commerce, both coastwise and with the continent, is carried on. The harbour occupies an area of about 45 acres; is formed, almost circularly, by twostone piers; has an entrance 240 feet wide; and includesa patent slip 480 feet long and 60 feet wide. The E pieris nearly 3,000 feet long; the W pier is 1, 500 feet long; each pier is 26 feet wide, and forms a fine promenade; and a lighthouse is on the W pier, showing a red light, 37 feet high, and visible at the distance of 6 miles. The vessels belonging to the port, at the beginning of 1864, were 98 small sailing-vessels, of aggregately 2, 747 tons; 26 large sailing-vessels, of aggregately 3, 928 tons; and 1 steam-vessel, of 10 tons. The vessels which entered in 1863 were 9 British sailing-vessels, of aggregately 921tons, from foreign countries; 3 foreign sailing-vessels, ofaggregately 490 tons, from foreign countries; 434 sailing-vessels, of aggregately 33, 960 tons, coastwise; and 11steam-vessels, of aggregately 1, 402 tons, coastwise. The vessels which cleared, in 1863, were 7 British sailing-vessels, of aggregately 662 tons, to foreign countries; 4 foreign sailing-vessels, of aggregately 580 tons, to foreign countries; and 33 sailing-vessels, of aggregately 2, 918tons, coastwise. The amount of customs, in 1862, was £2, 739.

The parish includes part of Ellington hamlet, yet isregarded as conterminate with Ramsgate town; it formed part of St. Lawrence parish till 1827; and it was cut ecclesiastically into the sections of St. George and Christchurch in 1857. Acres, 356; of which 95 are water. Real property, £66, 866; of which £265 are in gas-works. Pop. in 1851, 11, 838; in 1861, 11, 865. Houses, 2, 209. Numerous mansions and villas are either within the parish or in its immediate vicinity; and a Gothic villa, builtby A. W. Pugin, Esq., and long inhabited by him, is on the Parade. The living of St. George is a vicarage, and the livings of Christchurch and the chapel of ease are p.curacies, in the diocese of Canterbury. Value of St. George, £400; * of the others, not reported. Patron of St. G., the Archbishop of Canterbury; of Christ Church, Trustees; of the chapel of ease, the Vicar of Ramsgate.—The sub-district contains also the parishes of St. Lawrence and St. Peter. Acres, 8,098. Pop., 18,007. Houses, 3, 449.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a parish, and a sub-district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Ramsgate CP/ExP       Ramsgate SubD       Thanet PLU/RegD       Kent AncC
Place: Ramsgate

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