Castle Cottage


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Upper Dumpton Park Road, Ramsgate, CT11 7PD


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Statutory Address:
Upper Dumpton Park Road, Ramsgate, CT11 7PD

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Thanet (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


A cottage, formerly a row of three cottages and originally a farm building of late-C17 or early-C18 date.

Reasons for Designation

Castle Cottage, Upper Dumpton Park Road, Ramsgate is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* the building is well designed of local vernacular materials, and expresses the various elements of its history and evolution with a good level of surviving C18 material. Historic interest:

* both the cottage and the boundary wall are rare surviving examples of the agricultural nature of the land surrounding the port of Ramsgate and its rapid expansion in the C19.


Ramsgate is situated on the east coast of the Isle of Thanet, facing France and the Low Countries. Originating as a fishing village within the medieval parish of St Laurence, Ramsgate’s development from the C16 was driven by the strategic importance of its coastal port. Ramsgate became associated with the Cinque Ports as a limb of Sandwich from the C14. Late C17 trade with Russia and the Baltic resulted in a wave of investment and rebuilding in the town. In 1749 the construction of a harbour of refuge from storms in the North Sea and Channel was approved, and a cross wall and inner basin were completed in 1779 to the design of John Smeaton. Later improvements included a lighthouse of 1794-1795 by Samuel Wyatt and a clock house of 1817 by Wyatt and George Louch.

From the mid-C18 Ramsgate became increasingly popular as a seaside resort, its expansion being accelerated by road improvements and faster sea passage offered by hoys, packets and steamers. An assembly room, warm water baths, subscription libraries and places of worship were joined by new streets such as Effingham Street and speculative crescents and squares on the East and West Cliffs such as Albion Place of about 1791-1798 and Nelson Crescent of about 1800-1805. During the Napoleonic Wars Ramsgate became a busy garrison town and a major port of embarkation. Ramsgate’s importance in 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, served by the large Church of St George (1824-1827). The harbour is the only one in the British Isles which has the designation ‘Royal’, granted by George IV.

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 WP Frith’s painting ‘Ramsgate Sands’ of 1854 (Royal Collection). Wealthier visitors were accommodated at a respectable distance from the town in developments such as E W Pugin’s Granville Hotel of 1867-1869. Competition with other Kentish resorts stimulated a series of large-scale improvements in the late-C19 and early-C20 including the construction of Royal Parade and landscaped stairs and pathways at the eastern and western ends of the seafront to join the upper promenades to the Undercliff walks. New schools, hospitals and services were also built. The thriving town attracted diverse faith communities; Moses Montefiore founded a synagogue and a religious college at East Cliff Lodge, while AWN Pugin St Augustine’s Church and the Grange as part of an intended Catholic community on the West Cliff.

In 1940 the harbour was the point of return for many of the small boats involved in the evacuation from Dunkirk and war-time precautions included the digging of extensive air raid shelter tunnels in the chalk beneath the town. Ramsgate remained a popular holiday destination until the advent of cheap foreign travel in the post-war decades. Falling visitor numbers were exacerbated by the decline of the town’s small trades and industries, fishing and boat-building. However, a ferry and hovercraft port and the large marina created in the inner harbour in the 1970s have continued to bring life to the area.

Castle Cottage appears to have originally formed one of a group of farm buildings, dating from the C17 or C18. It is recorded in rent books and maps in Canterbury Cathedral Archives as formerly called Thatch Cottage. At some stage in the C18 or C19 it was converted to three workmen's or farm labourers cottages and it was subsequently converted to a single dwelling in the later-C20. The name Castle Cottages appears to have come from a large house named Townley Castle which stood on a site to the south which now forms part of the playing fields of Chatham House Grammar School. Townley Castle was bombed in the First World War and demolished as a result.


A cottage, formerly a row of three cottages, and perhaps originally a farm building, of C17 or C18 date.

MATERIALS and PLAN: knapped flint with brick dressings, formerly partly lime washed, with a roof of half-hipped outline, now covered with C20 machine-made tiles, but formerly thatched. There are two storeys with a single-storey lean-to outshut along the south side, added at a later date, with a slate roof and rendered walls, and a C20 extension to the western end of the north front. The outshut has been converted to a central entrance lobby with bathroom to one side, flanked by a studio and storage. The winder staircases are retained from the three cottages and each leads to separate first floor space.

EXTERIOR: the north face was formerly the entrance front to the row of cottages. It has a blocked door to left of centre and a further door to far right which now leads to the C20, extension. The ground floor sashes are of 4X4 panes and the three, first-floor windows have 4X3 panes. The openings have brick surrounds and there are brick quoins to the corners of the building. There are the remains of lime wash or render to parts of this front. The ground-floor extension to far right has a shallow-pitched roof and a door to its eastern flank.

The eastern end has a small casement at ground floor level and a blocked opening at attic level which may have formerly been a taking-in door for an agricultural building.

The south face, which now forms the entrance front, has a continuous lean-to outshut to its full length. The eastern end of this has exposed, knapped flint with brick quoins, as on the house, and an arched brace to the half-gable. The southern face is rendered and has slate roof. The narrow gap between the top of this roof and the eaves of the principal block has three, 2-light casements at first floor level.

INTERIOR: the entrance lobby has exposed flint walling and a truss to the lean-to roof with an arched brace, and this is also seen in the ground floor bathroom. Each ground floor has a cross-axial square-edged beam to its centre. Fire surrounds are C20 replacements of brick. First floor bedrooms have widely-spaced joists. The winder staircases were formerly enclosed and that to the centre retains its ground-floor plank door with strap hinges. Glazed, C20 doors have been inserted between rooms at ground floor level.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURE: to the southern side and extending to the south and then to the east is a section of flint walling which now forms a boundary wall to the property, but which was formerly part of a farm building.




This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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