Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Is this a picture of Margate?

Reader Andy has sent me this old picture, click on it to enlarge, he thinks that it is Margate, I had my reservations and couldn’t quite place it, but now I am inclined to agree with him.

Anyway I thought placing it would amuse other bloggers.

Anyone care to hazard a date?

Update due to comments, the picture is definitely Margate and is looking to be about 1860 to 1870 see Tony’s post about Margate then

Simon’s old photos also gat a mention, see they are on flicker making it a bit hard to copy them.

A naughty note about copying pictures from Flicker and other websites that don’t let you copy pictures from them.

Get the picture as big as you can on your screen, with flicker it’s best to hit the pause button first or the picture will flicker away.

Press the Print screen button on your keyboard, go to start, All Programs, Accessories, Paint.

Once you have opened Paint, hit paste, pressing the Ctrl and V key at the same time will do this, the picture should then open in Paint and you can save it on your computer.


  1. Don to be honest I am not very good on Margate, I think if it was as late as that you would be able to see The Hotel Metropole, well actually built as The Pier Head Hotel in 1891 but I think it would have been the Metropole by 1899.

  2. It's Margate all right, a nice early view taken circa 1870 at a guess. Taken from Marine Terrace area looking towards the site of the Clock Tower which wasn't built until 1887, I think. The old iron bridge over the stream from Tivoli is visible, all this was swept away when the new Marine Drive was constructed connecting the harbour with Marine Terrace and Marine Parade c.1878.

    The Metropole site would be way over to the left and out of shot.

  3. See Tony's post from 2008, it has an artist's impression of the same area.

  4. There is a photo in circulation dated 1866 from the bridge with the same bathing machines in it and it is on Simon's flicker. Also above the ladies head on the right the balcony of the Kent Hotel can be seen which will help with the dating.

  5. Also look at

  6. Tony would know better than most, but if you consider that the road has been widened this seems like a very high tide - I can't remember the sea coming this far in and that is probably what the onlookers are interested in.

    Obviously when this view was taken it was not an unlikely event as the groynes are built right up to the wall.

  7. Could you post a link to the photo on Simon's site please Tony?

  8. Tony Michael, I have added the links in the post, thanks for the help with this one.

    Tony I couldn’t find the right photo on Simon’s flicker site, Michael looking at the other pictures on Simon’s site I don’t think this is a particularly high tide.

  9. Thanks Michael - I've found the photo Tony referred to, but I don't know any way of making a link to it specifically, you just have to wade through the slideshow.

    Talking of wading through, I just don't remember the sea coming right up to the current wall, I think there is always some beach left - but Tony will know. If you can imagine where the sea would be further left in the posted picture, it would mean the temporary site of the lifeboat station would be underwater if that tide was repeated today. Sand levels change all the time, of course and my memory of the extent of the beach at high water may well be flawed.

  10. Michael I could only find the one that also appears on Tony’s blog and in that the bathing machines look to be earlier. If it is a different picture could you email it to me and I will include it in the blog post?

  11. Michael, The sea wall of Marine Terrace was actually built as a sea defence. This was to protect Tivoli Brooks which was flooded in the 1808 storm when the sea went up as far as Tivoli. This contaminated the towns water supply which was drawn from the Brooks.
    Margate Main sands came about by the gradual silting process following the construction of the stone pier (harbour arm) then the further construction of the small stone groyne by the Nayland Rock. When the Bathing Pool was constructed for the Bathing Pavillion in 1926 the silting process accelerated affecting the Harbour itself. The silting process has been so evident that the position of tidal strandline has moved every decade in the 20th century as the sands have widened. It is now possible to date postcards and photographs by it.


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