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Victoria Gardens Kiosk

A Grade II Listed Building in Ramsgate, Kent

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.3347 / 51°20'4"N

Longitude: 1.4264 / 1°25'35"E

OS Eastings: 638770

OS Northings: 165086

OS Grid: TR387650

Mapcode National: GBR X0M.7GM

Mapcode Global: VHMCW.NQZ6

Plus Code: 9F338CMG+VH

Entry Name: Victoria Gardens Kiosk

Listing Date: 22 May 2019

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1460832

Location: Ramsgate, Thanet, Kent, CT11

County: Kent

District: Thanet

Civil Parish: Ramsgate

Built-Up Area: Ramsgate

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Summary


Kiosk, built about 1876 in association with the Victoria Gardens, East Cliff, Ramsgate.

Description

Kiosk, built about 1876 in association with the Victoria Gardens which were laid out as part of the development of the adjacent Granville Hotel and Marina by the developer Edmund Davis under the direction of his architect J T Wimperis.

MATERIALS: rendered brick plinth, knapped flint and timber posts and brackets supporting clay tile roof.

PLAN: octagonal form with four hatches (to the north, south, east and west sides).

DESCRIPTION: picturesque Gothic kiosk with moulded timber posts framing sections of roughly coursed and knapped flints to the four faces set between the hatches (these having had metal shutters fitted). A decorative effect is created by applied timber cross braces and shaped panels to alternate faces which imitate Gothic tracery. Each timber post has a corresponding carved bracket supporting the overhanging octagonal-pitched roof. A feature is made of the roof through the use of alternating bands of plain and bullnose tiles.

History

Ramsgate emerged as a seaside resort from the mid-C18, its increasing popularity and growth at this time accelerated by road improvements and faster sea passage offered by hoys, packets and steamers. The town saw significant investment in the early C19 and Ramsgate’s importance into the 1820s is attested by its patronage by the British and European royal families and the creation of a separate parish by Act of Parliament. The arrival of the South Eastern Railway’s branch line in 1846 opened up Ramsgate to mass tourism and popular culture, bringing a range of inexpensive, lively resort facilities intended for the sorts of middle- and working-class holiday makers depicted in W P Frith’s painting ‘Ramsgate Sands’ of 1854 (Royal Collection). The later arrival of the London Chatham and Dover line at East Cliff in 1863 made the suburb prime for expansion and development; the location, being a respectable distance from the town with fine views, came to be favoured by wealthier visitors who were accommodated at new developments, of which E W Pugin’s Granville Hotel of 1867-1869 was the most prestigious example.

The Granville development, so named after George Leverson Gower, second Earl Granville (1815-1891), was a venture undertaken by Edward Welby Pugin, together with investors Robert Sankey, George Burgess and John Barnet Hodgson on land acquired from the Mount Albion Estate in 1867. The scheme was to be an important new building in the eastward expansion of the town. At the outset, the intention was to build a relatively restrained speculative terrace of large townhouses with some additional facilities. However, as the scheme progressed and it became apparent that buyers could not be secured, revised plans for an enlarged hotel complex were adopted in 1868 and brought to completion in 1869 (Thanet Advertiser, 26 June 1869, p2).

An opening ball held in the Granville Hall, which was attended by county society in December 1869, heralded the success of the impressive new building. However, growing financial difficulties forced Pugin to mortgage the hotel to Coutts Bank as security for his loans. When he was declared bankrupt in October 1872 the bank repossessed the hotel (Thanet Advertiser, 22 November 1872, p2) and the site was subsequently purchased by the developer and Liberal parliamentary candidate Edmund Davis. Under the direction of Davis in 1876-1877, a new scheme for the Granville Marina and Victoria Gardens to attract further visitors was developed.

As part of the Victoria Gardens scheme commissioned by Davis and planned by his architect J T Wimperis, turnstiles, a perimeter railing and a kiosk were built to screen-off the formal gardens and entertainments within the enclosure. Visitors to the gardens could pay a small admission fee at the kiosk to enter, as contemporary photographs show. The private gardens were relatively short-lived, with this seafront enclosure being acquired by the Ramsgate Corporation in 1892. By the end of the C19 the Granville Hotel was being run by the successful hoteliers, Messrs Spiers and Pond and photographs showing the works to the hotel undertaken in 1900 also make clear that the railings to the private gardens had been removed and the gardens remodelled by this time. A later photograph from the Francis Frith collection (about 1920) shows the kiosk selling postcards and newspapers, a use which was sustained throughout the C20 and into the C21.

Reasons for Listing

The Victoria Gardens Kiosk is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* as a distinctive, well-preserved seafront kiosk designed in a picturesque Gothic style.

Group value:

* with the Grade II-listed Granville Hotel and Marina which it was designed and built in connection with.

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