Monday, 16 October 2017

Ramsgate Margate and Broadstairs around 1800 trying to look back 200 years

Clicking on this picture of Ramsgate in 1809 should make it expand, I know it was produced in 1809 because it comes from "The New Margate, Ramsgate, and Broadstairs Guide 1809"
This is a picture of the title page, fortunately I have copied the whole book and produce a cheap reprint that anyone can buy this is the link to buy it the free option here is coming to my bookshop in Ramsgate and giving it a thorough browse.

I think this is probably the first local guide to have pictures of the three Thanet towns that we can still identify today.

This is Margate in 1809

and this Broadstairs in 1809, all three large files that should expand well when you click on them a bit, or do whatever you do on your phone or tablet.

The text in the book is informative, up to a point, this is part of the the bit about Margate and the journey there

Contemporary cartoons of the Passage Packet tell a different story

the journey between London and Margate took several days depending on the weather

Contemporary cartoons also tell a different story about sea bathing before teh invention of the swimming costume.

Contemporary art like the Benjamin West of the bathing place at Ramsgate in 1788, which is presumably intended to be a realistic picture of Ramsgate, are some help, note the invalid on the right with his mug to drink the seawater and the professional dunkers ready to immerse him afterwards.

next an lifted from the internet so the won't expand two Ramsgate watercolours from 1801 by John Rubens Smith

Here in the bookshop it was one of those days when people tell you their house is over 200 years old, both the Paragon and Nelson’s Crescent, finished around 1800, so yes often they are absolutely right. But following on from this then people want something, a connection perhaps to this time. How I explain is another matter altogether. Saying that they were probably built as rental accommodation for the wealthy who came here for a medical cure accompanied by their families servants doesn’t seem enough. So I promised to try to do a blog post about this today.   

Here is the link to the books that went on the shelves in the bookshop today.

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