History Files

Please help the History Files

Contributed: 175

Target: 400

Totals slider

The History Files still needs your help. As a non-profit site, it is only able to support such a vast and ever-growing collection of information with your help, and this year your help is needed more than ever. Please make a donation so that we can continue to provide highly detailed historical research on a fully secure site. Your help really is appreciated.



Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of Kent

by Peter Kessler, 25 April 2010

Thanet Part 13: Churches of Ramsgate

Anath Gospel Hall, Ramsgate, Kent

Anath Gospel Hall occupies a plot on the northern side of Station Approach Road, approximately three hundred metres east of Ramsgate Station and close to the junction with Margate Road. The hall is home to an Open Brethren, evangelical church which opened between 1936 and 1955, but as with so many nonconformist places of worship in Thanet, no more information than that is available. The building's style is 1950s, suggesting a date between 1950-1955.

St Luke's Church, Ramsgate, Kent

St Luke's Church occupies the south-eastern corner of St Luke's Avenue and Hollicondane Road in northern Ramsgate. Construction of the church was officially started when the foundation stone was laid by the archbishop of Canterbury on 24 November 1875. The cost of building was 8,000, perhaps too much, as the original drawings show a tower and other apparently unfinished areas such as the side door porch. St Mark's Mission Church was soon opened in Northwood.

St Luke's Church, Ramsgate, Kent

By September 1890, finances to finish the building work on the church and other projects were falling behind. The tower and porches were put on hold, and money was diverted to other more important projects. About 500 of the 1,100 pews had to be paid for in the 1890s, with the poorer inhabitants of Ramsgate being advised to use the free pews (presumably at the back of the church). St Luke's congregation grew to 303 by 1896, but has certainly fallen since then.

Newcastle Hill Wesleyan Mission Hall, Ramsgate, Kent

Newcastle Hill Wesleyan Mission Hall stood on the northern side of Newcastle Hill, one third of the way up the hill. This is to the east of King Street, and two-thirds of the way towards the beach from St Luke's. Information on the hall is scarce, but it certainly existed in 1936, and the National Archives contains records from the hall between 1908-1955. The hall was lost to redevelopment and by 2008, some of the redevelopments were being redeveloped.

St Paul's Church, Ramsgate, Kent

St Paul's Church was on the north-west side of the Sussex Street and King Street corner. Opened in 1874 to cater for working class locals who failed to attend St George's, it gained its owned parish in 1881. In 1887 a brand new, much bigger church replaced the original mission, thriving until the 1939 wartime closure of coastal churches. Sussex Street was flattened in 1940, but the church survived. Then Holy Trinity gained its parishioners and it was demolished in 1959.

Parish Church of Holy Trinity Ramsgate, Ramsgate, Kent

The Parish Church of Holy Trinity Ramsgate fills the land on the northern side of Victoria Road, between Bellevue Road and Avenue Road. This flint-clad church, on the east cliff, close to the Royal Harbour, was consecrated in 1845 and maintained a Catholic tradition, firmly anchored in the Anglican Church. It was very much the home of the upper class with its full choral services, which were advertised in the local press as being of the cathedral type.

Parish Church of Holy Trinity Ramsgate, Ramsgate, Kent

The churches in Thanet's coastal towns were all closed in 1939, at the outbreak of the war, and when a single Junkers 88 bomber dropped two bombs during the air raid of 12 November 1940, nearby Sussex Street was destroyed. Although St Paul's Church there survived, Holy Trinity gained access to more than half its parishioners, leaving it without a reason to exist. It never re-opened after the war. Holy Trinity has no tower, but it does contain a bell cote for a single bell.

St Ethelbert & St Gertrude's Catholic Church, Ramsgate, Kent

St Ethelbert & St Gertrude's Catholic Church is on the western side of Hereson Road between Lilian Road and Dane Park Road. In 1897 the Catholic Church in England celebrated the 1300th anniversary of St Augustine's arrival at Ebbsfleet by starting off a new church in the expanding eastern part of Ramsgate. This was completed in 1902 with space for 300, although without a tower. It was unconsecrated until the Feast of Saint Ethelbert, on 25 February 2010.

Montefiore Synagogue, Ramsgate, Kent

Montefiore Synagogue, or the Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue, sits on the eastern side of Hereson Road, along a footpath opposite St George's Road. The Grade II listed buildings were erected in 1833 by Sir Moses Montefiore, responsible for founding the Ramsgate community (Sir Moses' tomb is shown here, the synagogue is on its right). Disused by 2010, a new synagogue was in use on the south-west corner of Honeysuckle Road and Dumpton Park Drive.

Ramsgate Jewish Cemetery, Ramsgate, Kent

Ramsgate Jewish Cemetery occupies the corner of land on the western side of Dumpton Park Road and south of College Road. Following what was effectively the single-handed creation of the Ramsgate Jewish community by Sir Moses Montefiore, the Jewish population climbed from sixty in 1898 to a peak of 130 in 1935. It declined to the mid-sixties after the war, but the congregations of both of Ramsgate's synagogues still use this burial ground.

Eight photos on this page by P L Kessler.



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