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Gallery: Churches of Kent
by Peter Kessler, 25 April 2010. Updated 12
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.
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 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 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 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 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.
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 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 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 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.