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Abbot's Hill
New
Ramsgate, Kent£425,000 Freehold

Abbot's Hill

A harmonious blend of history and craftsmanship seconds from the Royal Harbour

Nestled just off Ramsgate’s high street and seconds from the historic Royal Harbour, this five-storey, Gothic Revival house is reminiscent of the work of architect Augustus Pugin. The current owner has sensitively transformed this dynamic live-work space, which catches glimpses of the sea from its upper storeys, into a tranquil retreat with expertly restored woodwork. The house is less than a mile from Ramsgate Station, which runs direct services to London St Pancras in just 75 minutes. Miles of coastal paths connecting to the nearby towns of Margate, Deal and Broadstairs are within easy reach, making this a wonderful seaside retreat and base from which to explore the historic Kent Coast.

Setting the Scene

Abbot’s Hill overlooks both the High Street and the harbour, with this house on the pedestrianised end of the street. The house was built in 1889 on part of a plot belonging to a public house called The Red Lion; one of the conditions written into the sale was that the newly built properties could not ‘sell beer by the bottle’, thus preserving the trade for the pub. The historic shopfront has largely been preserved, and the current owner, a true artisan of wood, personally undertook the meticulous repair, restoration, and replacement of the interior timber. In an unwavering quest for historical accuracy, consultations with SPAB and the Georgian Society were sought to ensure every aspect of the woodwork resonates with its historical roots. For more information, please see the History section.

The Grand Tour

The main entrance opens directly to the living room that historically served as the shopfront. With many previous iterations, the house has been a general store, antique shop, sweet shop, and for the past 22 years, a workshop building violas da gamba – a historic stringed musical instrument.

Here, the current owner has ingeniously subdivided the space to create distinct living and dining areas. Dark, richly stained original floorboards run underfoot, contrasting with the crisp, white lime plaster on the walls and light grey tongue-and-groove panelling. A corridor leads out to the rear of the building, where there is a utility room and a small courtyard patio. Throughout the house, the current owner, who is a talented woodworker, has taken special care to repair and restore the original joinery, including internal doors and architraves, the staircase bannisters and railings, cornicing and picture rails.

From the living room, stairs lead down to the spacious kitchen/dining room. This space has been completely finished in lime plaster, painted a soft sage green, and clever wooden cabinetry crafted by the current owner conceals the gas and electricity meter. Natural oak parquet flooring complements the painted maple cabinetry, which is topped with a wraparound beech worktop that offers plenty of space for cooking and entertaining. An external covered lightwell is accessible from this room and provides extra storage.

A door with charming stained glass opens to a staircase leading up from the living room to the three upper floors, where the bedrooms are found. On the first half landing, there is a handy WC. Continuing to the first floor, the large primary bedroom (historically a sitting room) is found at the front of the plan. Light floods in through the wide bay window, complementing the warm ochre tones on the walls and offering views over the quiet pedestrian street below. Restored cornicing, dado and picture rails, and original floorboards reveal layers of craftsmanship, and an original wood-burning fireplace warms the room in colder months. A lovely Jack-and-Jill family bathroom with views over the rear courtyard serves this floor.

A second spacious bedroom and family bathroom are found on the second floor. Large floor-to-ceiling wardrobes provide ample storage. This room, painted a soft, grassy green, also falls to the front of the plan and has wonderful light and views over the street below through the large sash windows. Another family bathroom on this floor also overlooks the rear courtyard and has plenty of built-in storage.

The enormous loft bedroom stretches across the entire third floor; a peek through the window reveals the sea beyond. This spacious room could easily be used as a quiet study or snug, and the attic offers clever out-of-sight storage space.

The Great Outdoors

A small courtyard patio is accessible from the ground floor. This brilliant space is complete with its own deep butler’s sink and plenty of space for a small dining table and chairs as well as potted plants. A covered lightwell hides a convenient spot for storing bins. While the street immediately to the front of the house is pedestrian-only, there is an abundance of free parking on surrounding streets.

Out and About

Ramsgate is swiftly developing quite the cultural scene, with a variety of independent shops, restaurants and cafés within walking distance. The house is very close to Albion Place Gardens and to the seafront and sandy beach. Also within easy walking distance is George VI Park. The house is just around the corner from the High Street and is less than a five-minute walk to the historic harbour for wonderful fresh fish as well as new cafés, including Archive Homestore. A nearby boutique hotel, The Falstaff, runs a locally-beloved coffee shop and deli on Addington Street. This street has a number of independent retailers and vintage boutiques, including some wonderful antique furniture dealers such as Paraphernalia or indoor market Petticoat Lane Emporium.

Other local favourites include Little ShipFlavours by Kumar and the Dining Rooms at Albion HouseSundowners are a must at the Albion House or the Royal Harbour Brassiere, located at the end of the harbour arm, both of which command fabulous sea views. The recently opened Union Café serves as a yoga studio and an excellent spot for lunch. The Modern Boulangerie is known for its freshly baked bread, while Sorbetto serves authentic Italian ice cream. There are at least five supermarkets within walking distance, including a Waitrose just three minutes’ walk away.

A short distance along the eastern esplanade is the Granville Theatre, recently restored and reopened with regular shows and musical theatre. It also houses a café with stunning views across the channel. On the West Cliff Promenade is the Boating Pool, a family-friendly pub with outdoor seating that serves pizza from a stall by the pool.

It’s around a half-hour walk along the coast to Broadstairs, which has enjoyed a palpable resurgence in recent years. The town has a thriving community of independent shops and restaurants including the Michelin-starred Stark and renowned seafood spot Wyatt and JonesThe Funicular Coffeehouse is built into the old ticket office of a long-decommissioned clifftop funicular. The old town itself remains a haven of antique shops and cafés and Morelli’s ice cream parlour is a marvellous institution on the seafront. The town hosts many festivals throughout the year including Broadstairs Folk Week and the food festival.

Nearby Margate is also experiencing an exciting period of change, and is home to the internationally renowned Turner Contemporary art gallery along with the recently restored Dreamland amusement park. Head towards Sandwich, about eight miles south, to check out Delf Farm Shop for locally grown produce and Updown Farmhouse for a luxurious staycation or gourmet meal (or both). Both are accessible by car in less than 20 minutes. Only a few minutes further is The Dog at Wingham, a gastropub and boutique hotel.

The house’s setting on the Kent coastal path means it is possible to walk along the promenade to Margate and beyond or stroll along the endless sandy beaches when the tide is low. Pegwell Nature Reserve is also an excellent place for a relaxing walk. There is plenty to do within the town, including visiting the Victorian tunnel system or going to one of the many art galleries that have opened on the other side of the harbour. Ramsgate Festival of Sound, in late August, turns the town into a buzzing hub. 

Ramsgate is well connected to the rest of the area of Thanet by train and road, meaning that the towns of Margate, Deal and Canterbury can all be accessed in under 30 minutes. It is a 20-minute walk to Ramsgate station, which runs fast direct services to London St Pancras in approximately 75 minutes. The Eurostar is easily reached at Folkestone for connections to the continent. 

Council Tax Band: A

Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. Inigo has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.

History

Ramsgate sits within a string of seaside towns on the coast of the Isle of Thanet, once a distinct entity to England before the channel that separated it from the mainland silted over. It is a ‘Limb’ of the Confederation of Cinque Ports, a historic group of coastal towns in south-east England that was originally formed for military and trade purposes. Today the Confederation of Cinque Ports comprises seven head ports and seven limbs and still plays an active part in the formal affairs of state. 

The Christian missionary Saint Augustine, sent by Pope Gregory the Great, landed near Ramsgate in 597 AD, bringing Christianity to the English. His tomb would become a shrine, that was later destroyed, along with his remains in Canterbury, under the orders of King Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell in 1538. Renowned 19th century architect Augustus Pugin—famous for his designs of the Houses of Parliament—constructed St Augustine’s church between 1845 and his death in 1852. Considered one of Pugin’s most personal designs, it was built next door to The Grange, his home. Today both buildings are Grade I-listed. 

The earliest known reference to Ramsgate was in 1275 when it was referred to in Anglo-Saxon terms as ‘Remmesgate’, referring to a gap in the cliffs. It remained under the jurisdiction of the Head Port of Sandwich until the 18th century when the merits of the sea waters as a remedy for ailments were increasingly acclaimed. This instigated the influx of health tourists to the area which kickstarted the construction of affluent hotels and residences for those travelling from London to take in the healing waters. The arrival of the South Eastern Railway line in the mid-18th century saw the city emerge as a popular seaside resort, and in 1863 the addition of the London Chatham and Dover line, paired with spectacular sea views, made Ramsgate a prime location for development. 

Simultaneously, Ramsgate became known as a strategic point for naval operations. The construction of a new harbour saw it emerge as a critical launching point in the Napoleonic Wars, and as a launch base for those headed on the rescue mission to Dunkirk in WWII. Ramsgate’s strategic position also made it a target for enemy bombing raids in both World Wars, opening up pockets of the town for subsequent redevelopment. These very different influences in Ramsgate’s development have combined to confer the town a rich mix of historic building types in close proximity which is rarely seen elsewhere. 

A final claim to fame for Ramsgate is that Vincent Van Gogh lived here for a year in 1876, stating that “this town has something very singular, one notices the sea in everything”.  

Abbot's Hill — Ramsgate, Kent
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