Festival of Britain Fountain


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:

Statutory Address:
Victoria Promenade


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Statutory Address:
Victoria Promenade

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

Location Description:

Thanet (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:


A municipal fountain, dating from about 1951 and built as part of the Festival of Britain celebrations.

Reasons for Designation

The Festival of Britain Fountain, Victoria Parade, Ramsgate is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* the form of the fountain with shuttered concrete pool and dramatic outline responds well to the limited brief and the economic and material restraints of 1951; * the fountain retains its metal fittings and appears to be in its original condition.

Historic interest:

* the structure is a good example of a celebratory fountain, built within the constraints of its time and intended to reflect the spirit of the Festival of Britain and to look to a brighter future.

Group interest:

* the fountain forms a group with the Memorial bust of EW Pugin and with Granville House (both listed at Grade II).


The Festival of Britain inspired a number of related celebrations around the country, including a ‘Festival of Light’ in Ramsgate. Announced in December 1950, the scheme was to cost more than £12,500 and designed to highlight the geography of the town. A string of illuminations were planned to extend from the Granville Theatre on the East Cliff to the Concert Hall on the West Cliff. Three fountains were planned; a central one standing on a pontoon in the inner harbour was to throw a jet of water 70ft into the air, illuminated by 24 changing coloured spotlights and three floodlights. To either side of this central feature were smaller fountains, standing on the cliffs in the garden in front of Nelson Crescent and the present structure in Victoria Gardens in front of Granville House. The Thanet Advertiser reported of these that ‘From a 20 foot base the water will rise to a height of 15 feet, and the colours will change constantly’ (see SOURCES). The full show was intended to last from July to October of 1951, but to continue in reduced form as a tourist attraction for up to six years. Up to four miles of illumination were planned stretching all the way along promenades from west to east and including light effects on Victoria Promenade and Madeira Walk and also private displays on the fronts of people’s homes. This is the sole survivor of the three, original fountains.


A municipal fountain, dating from about 1951 and built as part of the Festival of Britain celebrations.

MATERIALS and PLAN: concrete (the lowest, circular bowl was probably cast in situ) with metal fittings. Above the circular bowl are a series of three, hexagonal, concrete fountain bowls of diminishing height and width, springing from a central column. The lowest, circular fountain bowl has an indented lip. The hexagonal supports are flared and curve upwards and out to a rounded lip at each stage.


Books and journals
Hillier, B, Banham, M, A Tonic to the Nation, (1976)
'Festival of Light' in Thanet Advertiser, (22 December 1950), 7


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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