Ramsgate is a seaside town on the Isle of Thanet in east
was one of the great English seaside towns of the 19th century and
is a member of the ancient confederation of Cinque ports
. It has 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 Port Ramsgate has provided cross channel ferries for many
Ramsgate began as a fishing and farming hamlet. Ramsgate as a name
has its earliest reference as Hraefn's ate, or cliff gap, later to
be rendered 'Ramisgate' or 'Remmesgate' around 1225 and 'Ramesgate'
from 1357. The legendary mercenaries Hengest
landed in the 5th century to herald
the pagan Anglo-Saxon age in England. The Christian missionary
Ramsgate in 597 which re-established the link between England and
the Christian church in Rome.
Ramsgate's harbour is a defining characteristic of the town.
The construction of Ramsgate Harbour began in 1749 and was
completed in about 1850. The Harbour has the unique distinction of
being the only Royal Harbour in the United Kingdom. Because of its
proximity to mainland Europe, Ramsgate was a chief embarkation
point both during the Napoleonic
and for the Dunkirk
the Isle of
Thanet saw the introduction of an electric tram service
which was one of the few inter-urban
tramways in Britain. The towns of Ramsgate, Margate and Broadstairs were linked by 11 miles of track.
1915-1916 early aircraft began to use the open farmlands at
Manston as a site
for emergency landings.
Ramsgate Sands in 1854
The location near the Kent coast
gave Manston some advantages over the other previously established
aerodromes. By 1917 the Royal Flying
was well established and taking an active part in the
defence of England. As RAF Manston the aerodrome played an important role in the
second World War and is now called Kent
is located 78 miles from central London in an East South
Easterly direction at one of the most Easterly points of the
country (the furthest point east is Lowestoft in Suffolk).
A map of Ramsgate from 1945
has its own meridian line and Mean Time which is 5 minutes
41 seconds ahead of Greenwich
.Ramsgate is about 1 hour from the M25 with
excellent road links.
The town is now the amalgamation of two settlements. One is the
fishing community based on the coast in the shallow valley between
two chalk cliffs and the other a farming community inland that is
now the Parish of St. Lawrence. The cliffs are now 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 sand beaches on the coast.
is in the parliamentary
constituency of Thanet
The Thanet South seat is currently held by
Member of Parliament
Dr Stephen Ladyman
, which he won
during the 1997
. The previous MP for Thanet South, Jonathan Aitken
, was convicted of perjury in
1999 and sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Ramsgate was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1884. This was
abolished in 1974, since which dateRamsgate has been within the Thanet local government district.
town contains the seven electoral wards
of Sir Moses Montefiore, Northwood,
Newington, Cliffsend and Pegwell, Central Harbour, Nethercourt, and
Eastcliff. These wards have seventeen of the fifty six seats on the
Thanet District Council
of the 2007 Local
,twelve of those seats were held by Labour
, four by the Conservatives
and one by Ramsgate
The town has had a Ramsgate Town Council
since June 2009.
There is a suggestion that the new council is called Ramsgate and
St Lawrence, in recognition of the fact that prior to incorporation
as a borough the area consisted of the parish of Ramsgate and the
parish of St Lawrence Intra. This name would mirror that of its
neighbour Broadstairs and St Peter's. The council will, however,
cover a smaller are than the former borough as it will not include
Cliffsend which forms a separate civil parish, nor Manston (which
together with rural parts of the old borough of Margate forms
Manston civil parish).
The Town Mayor of Ramsgate is currently Cllr David Green.
During the 1984
National Union of Mineworkers strike
, several blockades of
Ramsgate Harbour were staged by coalmen of the nearby colleries,
which had until then supported a sizable workforce throughout
Thanet. Ramsgate was also the original location of the pressure
Ramsgate marina, location of many
popular bars and pubs
Ramsgate's main industries are tourism
. The town has a thriving marina with
over 800 moorings and a range of marine-related businesses that
operate in premises in the renovated arches under Royal Parade. The
town caters for students of EFL (English as a foreign language) at
Although Ramsgate has the most valuable fish landings in Kent
(~£700,000 in 2003), the fishing industry is in decline.
Port Ramsgate has provided cross channel ferries for many
years. Previously Sally
Ferries UK provided a service of passenger and car ferries to
Dunkirk. Currently a service of freight and car is
provided to Oostende.
Unemployment for Thanet is higher (4.1%) than the national average
There is some light industry in the town. An emerging industry
is power generation, with 800 jobs expected to be created by the
offshore wind project, a wind farm just off the
Ramsgate Market is held in High Street, King Street and Queen
Street every Friday and Saturday between 8a.m. and 4p.m. 
|Over 65 years old
As of the 2001 UK census
Ramsgate had a population of 39,639.
of the town was 98.0%
, 0.8% mixed
, 0.3% black
, 0.3% Chinese
, 0.4% other Asian
and 0.1% other ethnicity.
of birth of residents was 95.6% United Kingdom, 0.7% Republic of
Ireland, 0.6% Germany, 0.6% other Western
Europe 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% South
Religion was recorded as 71.6% Christian
, 0.1% Hindu
, 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 females, there were 91.2 males. 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 has been awarded a 2008 Blue Flag award
. The water quality, tested
in 2007, passed the legal minimum, mandatory standard..
The local council publishes a website specifically aimed at
tourists visiting Ramsgate and neighbouring towns.
The previous prime seafront site which was Ramsgate pleasure park
is currently undergoing major redevelopment.
Ramsgate has developed a continental cafe style culture with bars
and restaurants on its seafront parade.
There is an annual Powerboat Grand
event based out of the harbour of Ramsgate during the
summer. Ramsgate carnival is an annual parade also during the
summer. Other events include the annual Addington Street Fair and
the French Market.
Thanet Wanderers is the island's only rugby team, which has enjoyed
recent success at London Division 1 level and achieved its best
result in defeating Doncaster at Twickenham in the final of the
intermediate cup in 1997. The club runs five senior sides and many
junior teams. The sides play at St Peters. Ramsgate's main football
club, Ramsgate F.C.
, plays in the
Isthmian League Premier
. The main local rivals of the club are Margate F.C.
who are situated 4 miles
away. When the two teams meet, it is known as the Thanet derby
. Ramsgate have achieved The FA’s
Charter Standard "Development" award. Ramsgate also run a Reserves
Team which plays in Kent Football League Second Division, a women's
team which plays in South East Counties Women's League Kent County
Ramsgate F.C. also run five main youth teams, under-13 to under-18
all feature in the Valley Express Kent Youth League and also run
Ramsgate Youth U7 to U16 who play in The Molten East Kent Youth
League; two other popular youth teams who are based in Ramsgate are
Trinity & Hugin Vikings both also play in The Molten East Kent
Thanet Galaxy is a Pan Disability Football Club. They provide
structured coaching for male and female footballers of all ages who
qualify within the nationally and internationally recognised Pan
Disability categories they Train at Chatham House Grammer School
and play in Kent Disability Football League, They play and train in
three age bands: U-11, U-16, 16+. In their first season, 2008/2009,
the Adult A Team won the Kent Disability League Adult
Ramsgate's sports facilities include a public swimming pool, a
fitness centre with gym and sports hall. Tennis clubs can be found
at Spencer square and St. Laurence. Ramsgate has three golf clubs:
St. Augustines , Stonelees , and Manston. Being a harbour town,
there is also a sailing club - The Royal Temple Yacht Club. The
Royal Temple Yacht Club 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 - 'Ramsgate Week', usually held in August.
Arts & local media
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. Ramsgate's sole cinema and theatre is the
Cinema, situated on Victoria Parade, in the town's
Ramsgate has two paid for newspapers, the Isle of Thanet
and Thanet Times
which are owned by Northcliffe Media
. Free newspapers for the
town include the Thanet Extra
, part of the KM Group
; and yourthanet
, part of KOS Media
Local radio stations are KMFM Thanet
owned by the KM Group; and the county-wide stations Heart Kent
BBC Radio Kent
Many buildings in Ramsgate are of Regency
and Victorian architecture
. There are 900
listed buildings in the town with more than 200 surrounding the
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, built in 1062 and rebuilt during the following
centuries with the most significant changes being in the 16th
century. Note the difference in spelling between that of the
Village of St Lawrence and the church, which is dedicated to the
The second notable church is St Augustine's, which is situated on
the town's westcliff. Considered one of the most August and
distinct surviving it was designed by Augustus Pugin
in 1847 in the neo-Gothic
style. Its dedication commemorates
, the first
Archbishop of Canterbury
who landed at Ramsgate in AD 596 and brought Christianity
Thirdly, the town's Parish Church of St George is situated just off
the town's High Street. Its lantern tower was added at the request
House as a navigational aid to passing ships and looks
over the town.
The ground was consecrated on 23 October 1827
Augustine' serves its own abbey and the town's Catholic community, whilst St Laurence and St
George are both Church of England,
and serve the Anglican community as part of
the Diocese of
Christ Church 
built in 1847 also serves the Anglican community.
Ramsgate library was originally built and paid for by Andrew Carnegie
in 1904. On the evening of
Friday 13 August 2004
a fire destroyed Ramsgate library just two months short of its
100th anniversary. Though suspicions were raised as to what started
the fire due to a similarly timed fire at the towns registry
office, an inquest concluded that the blaze was too intense to
pinpoint where and how the fire 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. 
harbour provides shelter from the effect of storms and is close to
It is now the site of one of the largest
and most thriving marinas
on the English
south coast (there were 12,000 visiting boats in 2005) with 800
The town has had a long and chequered relationship with cross
channel ferries. Passenger ferries to Dunkirk were operated for
many years by Sally Ferries who eventually were forced to close due
to stiff competition from Dover-Calais ferries and the Channel
Ferries passenger (with vehicle only) and freight ferries now frequently sail to the Port of
Ostend in Ostend, Belgium. A new ferry service, utilising catamaran
high speed craft, is due to start
operating between Ramsgate and Boulogne, France in
Hovercraft were formerly operated (from 1969
until 1982) by Hoverlloyd from Pegwell Bay, near Ramsgate, to Calais.
is connected to the national road network primarily through the
A299 Thanet Way which continues onto the
M2/A2 for the M25(approx
1 hour) and London. The A256 provides a
link to Dover and onwards
onto the A20 for the Channel
Bus services are provided by Stagecoachbus'
"Thanet Loop" scheme.
railway station is situated at the top of the town near the parish
of St Lawrence.
A new high-speed service to London has been announced and is
planned to start in December 2009. According to the South Eastern
Railway company, it will be part of the UK's first high speed
commuter service, and the journey time from Ramsgate to the new St
Pancras terminal, with excellent transport links, will be
84 minutes .
Currently, trains run from Ramsgate to
Charing Cross and London Victoria.
Commuting time to the capital is currently
1 hour 50 minutes.
trains pass via Margate, Chatham and Bromley South, or via Canterbury West or Dover Priory and Ashford
Ramsgate railway station is operated by
is situated directly under the flight path of Kent
International Airport at Manston.
September 2004 to August 2005 a low-cost airline 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 Group plc.
was sold to Infratil (owner of Glasgow
Prestwick International Airport) won 26 August 2005. Currently, only Flybe
operates a seasonal flight from the airport to Jersey.
The Marlowe academy failed the 30% GCSE target.
Colleges and further education
- Contact the Mayor
- Blue Flag - Home
to Thanet: Broadstairs, Ramsgate and Margate
- Royal Sands Marina Esplanade, Ramsgate
- Ramsgate Carnival
- Ramsgate swimming pool is around 30 years old
and will be rebuilt
Augustines Golf Club
- Ramsgate Yacht
- Ramsgate Focus
- Southeastern 2009 - your journey starts here :
- BBC NEWS | England | Kent | Airline goes into
- BBC NEWS | Education | Schools below 30% GCSE
- BBC NEWS | Education | League Tables | Secondary
schools in Kent
- 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 1905477651
- Bob Simmonds, Ramsgate From the Ground: An Alternative Look
at the Town and Its History, Michaels Bookshop (April 2006),