Athens time

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Introducing: Ramsgate!

One thing I really love is seeing where everyone lives in the world. Luckily a lot of lovely people post pics of where they go on holiday (breathtaking scenery sometimes!) but not very often do bloggers post pics of where they live. After all, to them it's just everyday... they only take the camera when away.

To encourage you to show me where you live, I will introduce you to Ramsgate, Kent, UK. This is a town about half an hour drive north from where Dover connects to Calais in France and the English Channel is at its narrowest. This corner of the province of Kent, was originally separated from the mainland by a water called the Wantsum Channel. The channel has slibbed up and the Wantsum is now a tiny stream, and the island now part of the mainland. This corner around Ramsgate and Margate is still called the Isle of Thanet.

The most prominent feature in Ramsgate is the Royal Harbour. I believe it is the only Royal Harbour in England. Ramsgate started as a small fishing village in Roman times, with a small harbour and a small wooden pier. In 1820 King George IV stopped over and was so happy with the hospitality he received he decreed that Ramsgate would now be entitled to add 'Royal' to its name.

Ramsgate (and the harbour) have a rich history. This is the harbour where part of the fleet of little boats departed from to rescue wounded soldiers from the beaches in Dunkirk in France in 1940. The boats returned with many soldiers and events are sometimes held whereby the actual boats reunite and sail into Ramsgate once again.

Another important aspect is certainly the beach, here seen from beach level,

and seen from the point of view up the cliff looking down in summer

There is a Victorian lift going down to the beach (in addition to two sets of stairs along the cliffsides at intervals) which is still in working order and used in the summer months.

and here is the view over the harbour, seen from the lift entrance;

The harbour can also be seen from the East Cliff promenade, a little further away, where you can take in the beach, harbour and ferry terminal;

You can see how the colour of the water differs from the photo underneath...

The coast and the weather can change from one minute to the next, and from azureblue in the summer (the above pic is not photoshopped) to the murky waters you see above.

These are the cottages that were originally home to the coast guard. They are now privately owned and occupied;

And this is the town on market day on a friday;

The town library burnt down 5 years ago on friday the 13th... It has now been rebuilt and is totally modernised. Luckily the facade was saved and has been preserved but the building behind it is totally modern.

The seascapes along this coast are fantastic with ever changing cloud formations and colours. It has attracted many artists amongst which J.M.W. Turner who made many of his paintings on the Thanet coast.

You have been able to read about the lovely park in my blog before, lovely wooded areas as well as open meadow spaces;

In addition, a large windfarm is being built, just 7 miles offshore of Margate (a couple of miles North of Ramsgate) and the huge drillplatform is based in Ramsgate Harbour and gets towed to and fro against a background of containerships going through the Channel and tiny sailboats out for leisure. You can appreciate the size of this thing when you compare it to the sailingyacht in the right bottom side of the picture, which is a fairly large sized yacht of about 10m length at least. This windfarm, when finished, will be the largest operational windfarm in the world!

There is tons of stuff I haven't told you yet... Charles Dickens used to stay in Broadstairs (just north of Ramsgate, south of Margate) and also visited Ramsgate regularly. The young Princess Victoria came to visit often for her holidays. I haven't photographed the monuments, the museum, the other parks, the statues, more harbour views, the house where Princess Victoria stayed, the Tollhouse on the promenade, where you had to pay a penny to pass and enjoy the views at those times, the Grand Mansion houses designed by Edward Pugin. The Grange, the house of the renowned architect Augustin Pugin (Edward's father), who lived in Ramsgate and designed the clocktower of Big Ben, the Queens Throne, and the interior of the Houses of Parliament. The famous sandbank The Goodwin Sands, where many a ship floundered, the West Cliff, the bandstand, the churches, the nature reserve and the many migratory birds visiting and resting on their way south, and much much more.....

But this post would get far too long........ I will at times post in more detail about one aspect at a time, but I hope you have a little flavour and bird's eye view of Ramsgate.


Catherine said...

Wow what a beautiful historical town your live in and thanks for that mini tour. You have certainly given me food for thought!

Lauranie said...

My daughter and I just listened to The Prayer on your Playlist as we read about and looked at the beautiful pictures of your awesome home! I love reading about the interesting places other ppl live! You are right about not blogging about where we live...I guess some of us take for granted the beauty that is around us because of the everyday routines we go about! I promise to learn more about where I live...even though it is not my "hometown", I really enjoy living here and the things Lafayette has to offer!! Thanks my wise friend!! xo

Leslie said...

your photos and writing are amazing...i wanted to read more. it was fascinating. thanks for becoming a follower...and good luck with the giveaway.

Terrie Sandelin said...

Love the photos and the history. Thank you so much for sharing (someday I do hope to visit England)!

sallgood said...

What a wonderful place!!!

leslie said...

unbelievable! how fortunate you are to have so much history and different landscapes to enjoy...i too, love to see where people live. i need to work that out in a photo shoot....thanks for the idea!

Micki said...

It is a gorgeous place that you live! How lucky you are!