Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Do you know anything about this old Ramsgate Building?

As an aspiring shop assistant in the bookshop in Ramsgate that sells lots of Thanet history books a lot of my time is spent answering. Do you know anything about this old Ramsgate Building?

With the internet this gets extended into being tagged in Facebook with Michael Child may know the answer. My first job today was one of these. Here is the link to the post on Facebook in the We Love Ramsgate group

After a couple of fairly hectic days shop assisting I got a round tuit (bit like a beermat comes in the post asking you to pay a bill...) shop assistants get lots of difficult questions, as Mr Humphries said "I just bare my soul and reveal everything...then run like hell."

So the building in question this time is 23 Liverpool Lawn and in some ways it’s like finding out about any of the buildings in Ramsgate, it’s easier to date than some.

One thing about researching it is that the house number has stayed the same from 1887. Often the house numbers in Ramsgate changed several times, so a good rule of thumb is to come into the bookshop, find the house in the most modern street directory which is for 1971 and then work your way back through the street directories making sure the numbering for that street doesn’t suddenly change.

Making a note of the names of the occupants and the names of the occupants (especially businesses) nearby, on the way gives you something to put into the internet when looking there for pictures and more information.

With this one checking the number stayed the same was easy as road turnings are listed in the directory and the building is on a turning.

This is a picture of the page in the 1887 directory.

Anyway this is what I put on the Facebook post.

“The first Ramsgate Street directory that we publish and probably the first that there is, is for 1887 this says H D Sackett plumber, I would expect the large window to be a display of sanitary fittings – something like a modern bathroom shop, but then again not really like it that much.

The directories which we publish, sell, have in the bookshop for a browse (don’t come to browse tomorrow as it’s Thursday which is our closing day) are best used in conjunction with the maps we sell and are also on the wall in the bookshop for advanced browsing, the directories that are older than 1887 are arranged alphabetically by people and not streets.

Maps 1822, 1849 and 1872 directories 1849 and 1878, if you do a sort of local history mega browse in the bookshop, including looking through the adverts in the old local holiday guide books from 1763 you can sometimes find an advert for a plumber, which may help.”

The 1878 directory does have a Sackett in Adelaide Gardens and of course as the house is on the corner then this could be the same house and I would think that a long old look at the 1887 and 1878 directories would probably tell you.

Going back before about 150 years ago with Ramsgate local history takes you into a much more difficult area, the books we do are on our website in date order see

and for the directories see

The main problem is that the people who wrote and compiled them were not writing for us in 2017 but themselves back in the 1800s so the directories are aimed at finding a plumber then, the guides aimed at leisure then and the history books published then looking back in time from then. The last thing any of the writers would have had on their mind would have been describing Ramsgate in say 1850 to someone in 2017,

Local history, especially down to the one building or family level is something where you put time and money in to it and get very little out or nothing, like a fruit machine perhaps, it’s certainly very addictive – local history that is.

The resources are bookshop, internet, library and county archive, along the way – even when looking for someone else, you find little gems of information that you didn’t know, this just came my way. “Ebenezer Chapel, Ramsgate Congregational Church formed in 1662 by a minister ejected from St. Lawrence parish.” It paints a mental picture depending on who you are, perhaps he didn’t like The Book of Common Prayer that came out that year.

The person who only uses one source doesn’t usually get that far.

23 Liverpool Lawn is a listed building so I looked it up in the list and put what it said up in another comment on the same post.

“I think it's on the 1849 map but not the but not the 1822 which supports the English Heritage listing Listing
TR 3864 NW
(north side)
13/247 No. 23 (Grace
13.8.68 Cottage)
House. Circa 1830. Coursed flint with brick dressings with slate roof.
Two storeys and basement with kneelered gable. Gable end with pointed
Y-traceried metal casement, and C20 shop front with glazing bar sash
with louvred shutters, C20 panelled door to right with rectangular
fanlight under large fascia with four centred arched recess and cornice
on pilasters. Arched basement opening. Right return with 2 arched
recess on each floor, with small casement to top right. End right
recess on ground floor originally a doorway. Blocked central arched basement
opening. No. 24 opposite reflects the same Gothick influence.

Listing NGR: TR3807664710”

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