History Files


Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of Kent

by Peter Kessler, 25 April 2010. Updated 12 February 2012

Thanet Part 14: Churches of Ramsgate & Newington

Ramsgate Cemetery, Ramsgate, Kent

Ramsgate Cemetery lies on the northern side of Cecilia Road. It is run by Thanet District Council and was opened in 1871. Two chapels were built, on either side of an imposing Norman style tower. One of them was (and still is) used for funeral services, while the other is a memorial chapel. Both are listed by English Heritage. The necropolis is spacious, lined with dense tree cover on the west and north walls, and with a chapel-sized mausoleum in the south-west corner.

Ramsgate Cemetery, Ramsgate, Kent

No new ground is available in the cemetery, so the only burials are within existing graves. There are a number of unpurchased graves (formerly known as pauper's graves) which can be purchased and re-used. There is also a military burial area under the control of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and an area by the chapels for the interment of cremations. Burial rights are granted for fifty years except purchases in 1964-2002, which are for a hundred years.

St Lawrence College Chapel, Ramsgate, Kent

St Lawrence College Chapel is on the southern side of College Road, at the northern end of Ramsgate, overlooking the railway. The college was founded in 1879 as South Eastern College, then based in a single house which it quickly outgrew. The main college was built by 1884, with the chapel being completed in 1927, although the pupils were evacuated during both world wars. The college has about 330 pupils (in 2009), and the chapel holds three services a week.

St Benedict's Catholic Church, Ramsgate, Kent

St Benedict's Catholic Church lies in a square of land on the southern side of Whitehall Road, close to the junction with Newington Road, but shielded from the corner by a house of Georgian appearance. Unfortunately, as with a great many places of worship on the Isle of Thanet, information is almost impossible to come by, so the date at which this church was built is unknown. The architectural style and building materials would point to a date in the 1950s or 1960s.

Thanet & District Reform Synagogue, Ramsgate, Kent

Thanet & District Reform Synagogue lies on the northern side of Margate Road, just south of the junction with Pyson's Road. The date at which the synagogue was formed seems to be unknown, but it was before 1991. The relatively plain red brick building itself appears to be fairly new. The synagogue is a member of the Associated Community with the Movement for Reform Judaism (which was formerly known as the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain).

St Mark's Church, Ramsgate, Kent

St Mark's Church Ramsgate occupies a large, open plot on the north-east corner of Pyson's Road and the Margate Road in the Northwood district of Ramsgate. The first vicar of the new parish church of St Luke's Church in Ramsgate anticipated urban expansion in Northwood and purchased the present site in 1884. Lack of funds meant that the first building on this site was an iron hut bought in Brighton, which served as the Mission Church of St Mark Northwood.

St Mark's Church, Ramsgate, Kent

The tin hut lasted for fifty-five years. Plans for a grand church began with the chancel and hall in 1939, designed of Thomas F Ford & Partners. Then the war intervened. The church received some furnishings from St Mary's Church, Chapel Place in Ramsgate when that was bombed, but funds only became available in 1967 to complete the work, with a small nave and semi-tower which housed the bell designed by Percy Flaxman. The church gained its own parish in 1982.

Northwood Road Methodist Church, Ramsgate, Kent

Northwood Road Methodist Church occupies a narrow plot on the western side of Northwood Road, roughly parallel to Cherry Gardens, which lies to the east, and with now-disappearing fields behind it, in the Northwood district of Ramsgate. The single-storey building was erected in the early decades of the twentieth century, and was certainly in existence by 1936, when it was entered in Isle of Thanet Kelly's Directory. The building is now a private residence.

St Christopher's Church, Newington, Ramsgate, Kent

St Christopher's Church, Newington stands at the south-east corner of Rockstone Way (to the far left of the photo, at the back), and at the northern curve of Princess Margaret Avenue, where the entrance sits. The building is a modern one, probably not more than a 1950s construction, which is when this area of Ramsgate started to be built up. The building's use is flexible, serving both the church and the local community.

Newington Free Church, Newington, Ramsgate, Kent

Newington Free Church occupies a large plot on the north-east corner of St John's Avenue and Quetta Road, which is situated on the eastern edge of Newington. Nothing is known of the church's history, but the building's construction style strongly suggest a 1950s or perhaps early 1960s date. The church itself is on the left of the photo, on Quetta Road, while the hall and ancillary buildings are on the right, on St John's Road.

All photos on this page by P L Kessler.



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