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Latitude: 51.3824 / 51°22'56"N
Longitude: 1.3325 / 1°19'57"E
OS Eastings: 631989
OS Northings: 170092
OS Grid: TR319700
Mapcode National: GBR WZX.7QC
Mapcode Global: VHLG6.1JT2
Entry Name: The Observatory
Listing Date: 6 August 2002
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1088076
English Heritage Legacy ID: 489662
Location: Westgate-on-Sea, Thanet, Kent, CT8
Civil Parish: Westgate-on-Sea
Built-Up Area: Margate
Traditional County: Kent
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent
878/0/10033 SEA ROAD
06-AUG-02 Westgate on Sea
Built as a house, later school , currently care home. Designed in 1899 by Sir Banister Flight Fletcher in Arts and Crafts style. Part of front and whole of right side elevation are pebbledashed. Remainder of front and part of rear are tile-hung, mainly with fishscale tiles. Remainder in red brick. Steeply pitched hipped tiled roof , each side having two projecting crow-stepped gables with pebbledashed chimneystacks with stone capping. Two storeys with attic and lookout above. Five windows to front elevation, mainly wooden mullioned casements, but mullioned and transomed to ground floor.
EXTERIOR: Named after the lookout or observatory on the roof , which has a battered square tiled base with four-light window and ogee-shaped lead roof surmounted by metal weathervane. Deep curved pediment over central attic window in fishscale tiled projection. The gable has timberframing with central diaper motif and pebbledashed infill. Six-light window. Small flat-roofed dormers with decorative flashing. Central three bays of first floor are tile-hung and a central half-glazed door opens out on to a wooden balcony with strapwork decoration and upright posts with acorn finials. Flanking windows have five lights. Narrow side windows in stone surrounds. Ground floor is pebbledashed. The central bay was originally an open loggia but was enclosed in the mid C20 with similar glazing to the adjoining windows and a late C20 door, but the original door surround with rectangular fanlight and beamed ceiling survive internally. Adjoining windows are six-light mullioned and transomed casements. Narrow side windows in stone surrounds. Projecting mid C20 garage to right is not of special interest. Left side elevation has a pebbledashed gable but the following two bays have tile-hanging to the first floor and brick to the ground floor and the service wing to the rear is of red brick. Three casements to first floor and four with cambered heads to ground floor and a double width door with curved wooden hood over supported on brackets and pilasters with strapwork to the upper part. Right side elevation is wholly pebbledashed. Rear elevation has six-light casement to attic, door flanked by sidelights to first floor left, flat-roofed C20 brick extension to left and original brick service wing with four-light window to first floor and cambered opening to ground floor.
INTERIOR: Staircase hall with beamed ceiling and an arcade of three round-headed arches with two circular columns, two pilasters and two circular lights. The left side front room was originally open to the hall but a later partition has been inserted. This room has a beamed ceiling and a series of strapwork columns and battered pilasters. The right side front ground floor room has a wooden fireplace with mutules and paterae. Fine painted wooden well staircase with splat balusters, chamfered corner posts and ball finials. First floor front bedroom to the right has a wooden fireplace with panels, brackets and display shelf and a rear bedroom has a wooden fireplace with eared architrave and shelf above.
HISTORY: Plans show a Billiard Room to first floor left. Although the plans show no side windows to the front and plain railing and flagstaff in place of the lookout these appear to be contemporary features and modified after the plans were approved.
[A Stuart Gray "Edwardian Architecture" p181.]
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