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1700-1800s

Home / History / 1700-1800s
Elegant Georgian houses with their beautifully proportioned sash windows were built throughout the 18th century, later evolving into the bow window fronted houses of the Regency Period, 1812 - 1820. Ramsgate also benefitted from the building of Nelson Crescent and Wellington Crescent with their fine Chinese Pagoda-style canopied balconies and 'delicate as gossamer' ironwork railings and supports, that further embellished these wonderful Regency properties throughout the period up to the Victorian era. The young Princess Victoria visited the town as a child in the 1830s.

The harbour was built as a result of the Great Storm of 1703 which saw the loss of much shipping, the worst disaster to befall the Royal Navy in peacetime, though work did not begin until 1749. It was in September 1821 that George IV departed from the harbour for Hanover. On his safe return to Ramsgate, he was pleased to bestow the title 'Royal' upon the harbour, the only one in the country to be so honoured. An obelisk in Pier Yard erected out of granite commemorates this event.

Around the turn of the century - and particularly 1792 to 1815, the Napoleonic War years - Ramsgate became a busy garrison town, with tens of thousands of troops embarking and disembarking through the harbour to take part in the many battles. This necessitated the town becoming fortified,though little trace remains today, with rifle shooting on the sands and Drill Parades in Spencer Square. Ramsgate Harbour was the only harbour available for such traffic as Dover and Folkestone harbours were not to be built until many years later.

The town continued to grow during the Victorian period, and Ramsgate is particularly well endowed with some fine buildings from this time, though many properties, particularly further out from the town centre, have suffered the ravages of so called 'modernisation'. Examples include heavy chunky plastic windowframes and doors, pebble dashing and artificial stone cladding, which prevent the walls breathing thus encouraging internal damp.
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