History Files


Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Kent

by Peter Kessler, 24 January 2010



Thanet Part 7: Churches of Cliftonville

Margate Synagogue

Margate Synagogue is on the western side of Godwin Road, at the junction with Albion Road in Cliftonville. The number of parishioners for the synagogue have dropped in the last forty years, but it still holds regular services and social activities and in 2009 had 38 members. Margate Hebrew Congregation is totally independent, but it only accepts worshippers who are prepared to acknowledge the authority of the Chief Rabbi of the United Synagogue.

St Anne's Catholic Church & Presbytery

St Anne's Catholic Church & Presbytery is on Devonshire Gardens, Eastern Esplanade, a little north and east of the synagogue. It is one of the oldest and most historic buildings on Cliftonville sea front. The church was built during the Victorian era and has in recent years been undergoing largescale restoration work. During the Second World War the church's tower was used as a lookout across the North Sea, and it still conducts regular religious services for locals.

Christian Science Church

Christian Science Church stood (or still stands) at 406 Northdown Road, south-east of St Anne's and alongside the junction with Holly Gardens (to the right here). While the buildings that occupied the site in 2009 were large enough to contain a small church congregation, there was no outward sign that a church still met here. All the signage was for free nursery places. While this does not mean the church has closed, conversion into full-time nurseries is common these days.

St Philip's Palm Bay

St Philip's Palm Bay is on Summerfield Road, part of the Palm Bay community of the Northdown Park Estate that occupies the most north-easterly region of Thanet. The estate first appeared in the 1960s and in 1982 it was suggested that it required its own church separate from Holy Trinity Margate. On 25 July 1992 the first turf was cut and W W Martin & Co Ltd realised the plans drawn up by architect Mike Duncan. The church was consecrated on Friday 18 June 1993.

Holy Trinity Margate

Holy Trinity Margate is on St Mary's Avenue and Northdown Park Road, at the very easternmost end of Margate and Cliftonville, below Palm Bay. It too was built by W W Martin & Co Ltd in the 1950s to replace the lost Holy Trinity Church in Margate. It sat alongside the existing St Mary's Chapel (shown centre-left here) which was incorporated into the new build. The much-loved chapel was built in 1892, while the new church was consecrated in 1959.

Thanet Road Mission Hall

Thanet Road Mission Hall, is on the way back into Margate, on the northern side of Thanet Road midway between Victoria Road and Dane Park. No information seems to be available on its history, but to judge from the style of its construction it was probably put up immediate before the Second World War or in the years afterwards, and probably no later than 1960. Today it houses a nursery school with no sign other than the cruciform window of its previous status.

In Depth
In Depth


Images and text copyright all contributors mentioned on this page. An original feature for the History Files.