WHAT WE DO
The Society was formed in 1964 to save valued historic buildings from demolition and has continued to campaign for the town’s architectural heritage. Today the Society works with schools, community groups and charities on activities that include tree planting, litter picking, landscaping, town planning and design, signage, transport, parking, wildlife, nature, sport and leisure, coastal issues and public talks. The Society is a partner in the Ramsgate Heritage Action Zone created by Historic England in 2017using the town’s heritage assets to support Ramsgate’s economic and cultural regeneration.
THE SOCIETY AIMS TO BENEFIT THE CURRENT AND FUTURE CITIZENS OF RAMSGATE BY:
* Protecting and improving their quality of life, including their economic and social well-being;
* Encouraging high standards of architecture and planning in Ramsgate
* Protecting and enhancing the quality of the built and natural environment, and the public realm
* Promoting the history and heritage of the town
* Encouraging civic pride and active citizenship
* To pursue these objectives by means of campaigns, meetings, exhibitions, lectures, publications, other forms of instruction and publicity and the promotion of projects of a charitable nature.
THE SOCIETY STIMULATES PUBLIC INTEREST IN, AND CARE FOR THE BEAUTY, HISTORY AND CHARACTER OF THE TOWN AND ITS SURROUNDINGS.
PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
Romans, Saxons, Jutes and St Augustine all landed in Pegwell Bay, close to a cleft in the chalk cliffs that later became Ramsgate. First a fishing harbour, then a port of refuge protecting the main maritime route to London and later a garrison town in the Napoleonic wars, Ramsgate was awarded “Royal Harbour” status by George IV in 1821.It remains the only Royal Harbour in England to this day. The Royal Harbour (Grade 2 Listed) with its pioneering self-draining system is largely two centuries old and contains within its arms, mooring platforms for fishing fleets, a marina for leisure craft, a lighthouse showing water depth, a classical Clock House sitting next to the Smeaton Dry Dock, an obelisk recording royal patronage, a powder store and a sailors’ church and refuge for orphans who worked at sea. Its vessels have serviced channel traffic for centuries and now service huge offshore 21st Century wind farms. Georgian terraces now occupy cliffs where Roman villas once stood. The West Cliff has Augustus Pugin’s Shrine to St Augustine. The East Cliff boasts Edward Pugin’s Granville hotel. Overlooking the harbour is Albion House where Victoria stayed as Princess. Later as The Queen she purchased Frith’s painting ‘Ramsgate Sands’ that promoted the English affection for the seaside and made Ramsgate a hugely popular destination for the aristocracy and high society. The Ramsgate Society believes that such a heritage must be protected for future generations and works to preserve the best of our past while seeking to ensure high standards for the present and future.