Latest News from Ramsgate's Heritage Action Zone
Ramsgate was designated as a Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) in April of 2017 to encourage economic growth using the historic environment as a catalyst. Nearly two years on, we're excited to share what's been going on in the town:
Researching Ramsgate's history and heritage
Historic England has carried out a series of research projects that are helping the HAZ team to understand the history and heritage of Ramsgate.
Historic Landscape Characterisation Study
Historic England has assessed and mapped the patterns of historic character in Ramsgate. The project has shed light on the Neolithic, medieval, Georgian, Victorian, First World War and Second World War periods. As part of the project we also carried out geological and topographical surveys. This will help the HAZ team to better understand the town and its past.
Historic Area Assessment and Informed Conservation publication
Geraint Franklin, a Historic England Investigator, has carried out research which will culminate in the publication of a book on Ramsgate. The book is set to be published in 2021 as part of Historic England’s Informed Conservation series. The book launch will coincide with the bicentennial of Ramsgate’s harbour being given ‘Royal’ status. The project will also include a street-by-street geographical index which will document all listed buildings in Ramsgate.
Aerial investigation and analysis
Historic England’s aerial investigation team carried out a survey of the town. By analysing features such as cropmarks, prehistoric sites and military remains their work has contributed to our understanding of Ramsgate’s past.
Historic England archaeologists have reviewed existing archaeological research to help better understand Ramsgate’s pre-history. Their work found exciting evidence of Neolithic causeway enclosure sites and Bronze Age barrows. By exploring the pre-history of Ramsgate, we are building up a picture of the town, and how it is shaped by its geography and topology.
Volunteers are carrying out character appraisals of Ramsgate’s conservation areas
Conservation areas enjoy special protection under the law as areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance. With support and training from Historic England, community volunteers are carrying out character appraisals for Ramsgate’s four conservation areas. The character appraisals, once complete, will help to inform the planning process of the importance of the conservation area, to help future development.
Rescuing Ramsgate’s rock gardens
The Ramsgate Coastal Community Team was successful in bidding for a £50,000 grant from the Coastal Revival Fund. The funding will go towards a condition survey and planting plan of Ramsgate’s nationally significant collection of Pulhamite rock gardens. Pulhamite is a simulated rock designed to replicate natural rock. The condition survey will make clear what repair works are needed to protect and conserve the rock gardens.
The HAZ will work with local volunteers the Friends of Albion Place Gardens who maintain the rock garden site. The HAZ hopes to develop the project further to establish a training programme for local volunteers and craftsmen to learn the skills to maintain and conserve the Pulhamite.
Heritage Schools in Ramsgate
The Heritage Schools Programme is funded by the Department for Education and run by Historic England. The programme has been supporting Ramsgate schools to create learning experiences for pupils using local heritage across their curriculum.
As well as young people finding out more about the heritage in and around Ramsgate, the programme develops literacy, supports numeracy, and encourages young people to value and protect the heritage around them.
On the day of the HAZ launch, many people took the opportunity to share their ideas with us and put responses on post-it notes to these questions:
- What is your favourite piece of heritage in Ramsgate?
- What would make your heritage better?
- How would you like to get involved?
If you’d like to contribute to this gathering of ideas then please do share your responses with us on Twitter @HE_SouthEast
What happens next?
The HAZ board (made up of representatives from the Ramsgate HAZ partners) is very excited about the progress that has been made in Ramsgate and is looking forward to the next three years of the project.
There will be lots of opportunities for people to get involved throughout the project so watch this space.