Old Images of Broadstairs, Kent

Old photo postcard of the lifeboat crew Broadstairs Kent c1905

Glimpse history through old images of Broadstairs, Kent.

Boats 1939

On one day each summer, the local fishermen used to offer boat rides to local children. It soon becomes obvious why this stopped being a tradition!

Broadstairs (1939) – British Pathé on YouTube

Viking Ship 1949

In 1949, the ‘Hugin’, a recreation of a Viking ship, arrived on the beach at Broadstairs. Prince George of Denmark is seen in this silent footage, which captures the events of the day and the crowds of people who came to watch.

There are a few shots of the seafront buildings, main retail streets, and inside of a building.

Viking Ship Arrives (1949) – British Pathé on YouTube

Broadstairs in 1981

This video from Thames TV shows some of the local sights and attractions on offer back in 1981.

Broadstairs – Isle of Thanet – Kent – 1981 – ThamesTv on YouTube

Historic Book

Extract from”The New Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs Guide; Containing an Historical Epitome of the Ancient and Present State of the Isle of Thanet, Etc

Published in 1801

Pages 92 – 99

by the inhabitants Bradstow , and so named from :
the Saxon words Bradsteow , that is , a broad place ,
is three miles to the south – east of Margate , and two
to the north of Ramsgate , has of late years become
a summer resort for many respectable families ; and
from the many new buildings erected , it at present
forms a small town , and the most considerable in .
the parish to which it belongs , namely St. Peter’s ..
Broadstairs , though originally a small hamlet , has
an appearance of antiquity , as there are the remains
of a stone arch , or portal , walled with flints , to
which were formerly fixed strong gates and a port
cullis , to prevent any incursions made here by pri- .
vateers ; which has lately been repaired by Sir John
Henniker . At a small distance above the gate ,
there was an antient chapel , dedicated to the Virgin
Mary , under the appellation of our Lady of Pity ,.
though more usually our Lady of Bradstow ; in this

chapel was her image , which was held in such
veneration , that ships , as they passed this port , used
to lower their topsails to salute it . The remains of
this chapel are now converted into a dwelling house ,
though the door – way and several of its windows are
still entire . At a small distance , built of timber , is
the little pier of Broadstairs , when , or by whom
first made is not known ; but in 1564 and 1586 , it
appears by indenture to have been the fee estate of
the family of Culmer , of this place ; and that leave
and privilege of using the way was granted and con
firmed by them to the inhabitants and parishioners ,
provided they paid half a man’s share of every
boat appertaining to the parish , of such profits , & c .
which should happen to them by wrecks of the
sea , and other casualties therein specified . And in
consideration of the sum of ten pounds , they had
granted to them the pier of Bradstow , with all their
right in it , to hold for ever for the good of the
commonwealth with them , on their paying to the

wardens of the pier , for the maintenance of it , such
dues as had been accustomed ; but the harbour
having been greatly decayed by length of time and
frequent storms , became so much damaged , in
particular by one in 1763 , and then again by that
tremendous one in January 1767 , that it was almost
entirely demolished and rendered useless , insomuch .
that the rates and contributions of the inhabitants

were insufficient for the repair of it ; and the charge
of rebuilding of it , on a moderate estimation and
survey , taken for that purpose , amounted to up
wards of 20001. This obliged the inhabitants some
years afterwards to solicit the contribution of the
public for rebuilding the pier ; and at length , in
the 32d year of the present reign , an act was ob
tained for that purpose , under the management of
certain commissioners , with proper powers for the
improvement and better maintenance of it ; but if
we may judge from the present poor state of this
pier and harbour , the provisions of the said act
have not enabled the commissioners to effect so
desirable a purpose .

NEAR this place , in 1574 , a monstrous fish shot
himself on shore on a little sand , now called Fish
ness , where , for want of water , it died next day ;
before which his roaring was heard above a mile ;
his length , says Kilburne , was 22 yards , the nether
jaw opening 12 feet ; one of his eyes was more than
a cart and six horses could draw , a man stood up
right in the place from whence his eye was taken ,
the thickness from his back to the top of his belly
( which lay upwards ) was 14 feet , his tail of the
same breadth , the distance between his eyes 12 feet ,
three men stood upright in his mouth , some of his
ribs were 14 feet long , his tongue 15 feet , his liver

two cart loads , and a man might creep into his
nostril . On the 2d of February , 1762 , a large male
whale of the spermaceti kind came on shore here ,
which measured 61 feet long and 45 in girt .
THIS place had once a great trade to Iceland ,
and employed several vessels in the cod fishery , but
from the ravages of war and other disasters is now
gone to decay : the only trade which at present
enlivens the place ( when not resorted to for bathing
and retirement ) is ship – building , a considerable
branch of which has been carried on for some
years by Mr. White , who has particularly distin
guished himself in this truly British art ; several .
Indiamen , as well as most of the fast sailing packets
which distinguish the port of Margate , yield the .
palm of excellence to his inventive genius .

HERE are two good houses of accommodation ,
the Phoenix Hotel , great part of which is now let
as lodgings : lower down , in the same street , is the
Rose Inn , kept by Mr. Payton ( late Hurst ) ; op
posite to which stands Barfield’s Library , desirably
situated for business , which has a good collection .
of books , and is well furnished with stationary ,
toys , & c .: the library and reading – room front the
sea , and command a most delightful view of the
ocean , with the Downs , and French coast .

THE Bathing place is in , and off the harbour ,
and the machines and rooms are are upon the same
plan , and as well suited for the purpose , as those
we have before described .
AN elegant villa , at the entrance of this pleasant
town , on the road to Margate , has lately been built
by Thomas Forsyth , Esq . for his summer residence ,
with a spacious range of convenient stables , whose
situation for the beauty and extent of its prospect
is scarcely to be exceeded in this admired island .
There are many other good houses in this place ,
the principal part of which are situated on the cliff
towards the pier ; among which , is Nuckell’s Li
brary , Post – Office , and Toy – Shop , which has a
valuable collection of books , stationary , & c . and
has a fine view of the Downs and French coast .

BROADSTAIRS being a hamlet belonging to
St. Peter’s parish , it has no place of worship , ex
cept a meeting – house , belonging to the General
Baptist’s . The Established church at St. Pe-
ter’s , a mile distant , is a very handsome structure
of the gothic kind , consisting of three ailes , and
a beautiful chancel , ceiled in compartments , the
framing of which is enriched with carved ‘ work , as
is the cornice on each side , and is painted in a
most lively manner ; indeed we scarcely meet with

a church kept in such excellent order : it has a
handsome desk and pulpit of wainscot , and is
elegantly pewed of the same materials . At the
west end of the church is a strong steeple , built of
flints , with stone quoins and buttresses ; it is very
remarkable for a large fissure from the top of the
tower on the east , and a similar one on the west
side , which were occasioned by a severe shock of
an earthquake , on the 6th of April , 1580. This
church was one of the chapels belonging to Min
ster , but was made parochial after the year 1200

In 1630 , the churchwardens reported that here
was belonging to the vicarage a mansion , with a
well – house , orchard , and garden , and an acre of
land adjoining , and one parcel of land , called the
Vicar’s acre , lying within the lands of Capt . Nor
wood , who paid to the vicar , in consideration of it ,
five shillings a year ; but no care being taken to pre
serve the bounds of this acre , the place where it
lay was forgot , and the rent paid for it disputed ,
and at length quite discontinued . But the small
tithes of this parish , with the other emoluments ,
being far short of a reasonable maintenance for the
vicar , Mrs. Elizabeth Lovejoy , in 1694 , augmented
his income with 401. per annum out of the parson
age at Callis grange ; in consideration of which
augmentation , he is obliged to constant residence

on this vicarage : she also gave to a school – master ,
to teach twenty poor children gratis 20 L. per ann ,
with several other bequests named in her will .

ST . PETER’s village is very pleasing , as it stands
on an eminence , surrounded with trees , and is ren
dered still more so from its vicinity to Margate and
Ramsgate , together with the thoroughfare to Broad
stairs ; it being the constant resort of parties from
each of the above places , during the season , as well
as the residence of several genteel families . In this
parish are several other small hamlets and houses in
terspersed , viz . towards the south , Upton , Bromp
ston , and Dumpton : on the north – west side is
Sackett’s Hill , on which there has lately been a
handsome house erected : in the northern part of
it , is the hamlet of Reading – street , southward of
which is a small forestall , and then Sowell – street :
in the eastern part of the parish , close to the cilffs ,
is Hackendon downe , or banks , as will be further
mentioned ; and the hamlet of Stone , where Sir
Charles Raymond , Bart . a few years ago , built
an elegant house ; lately purchased by
Cuthbut , Esq . Not far from hence there for
merly stood a beacon , which used to be fired to

alarm the country in case of an invasion ; a little
further westward , and inland upon Kitchen – hill ,
was a second ; and a mile further inward , at Os

sendun , a third , a chain of thése alarm – posts being
to be traced through the island . The beacon ap
pears to have been a tall upright piece of timber ,
at the top of which was affixed a pully , through
which an iron chain was passed to draw up a barrel
of lighted pitch . A few years since some remains
of one of these beacons was dug up between Stone
and the present light – house .

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