Albion Place

The original development, late 18th Century

Albion Place is (or at least was) an L-shaped terrace ofhouses around a central garden. Like many of these early developments Albion Place was not built by a single developer but by a number of independent people building (or having built) their own houses. The typical arrangement was that one person purchased all the land and planned the layout of the building plots and the roads etc. They then sold some or all of the building plots on to people who were interested in building houses in the development. All of the parties to the development would agree on what was going to be built and certain issues of the style of the building, as will be explained later. The principle developer was no doubt in a position to make a substantial profit on the resale of the land, but took the risk of the initial capital investment, the legal and professional costs involved in the development and the posibility that they might not be able to sell all of the plots.

Albion place was developed under such as scheme as described above. The principle developer for which was Stephen Heritage, an Innkeeper of Ramsgate. The land previously belonged to Robert Smith (Carpenter) and appears to have consisted of a house with 4 acres of arable land. Robert Smith sold the land in March 1789 to Stephen Heritage and his trustee (William Guy) for the sum of £840 and 10 shilllings. Stephen Heritage layed out (possibly part of) the land for the construction of Albion Place and its roads, with building plots for resale.

old albion gardens

Figure 1 - Rough schematic of the original layout of Albion Place and The Green.

The building plots were sold on to a number of people who wished to build a house or houses in the development. The building plots were sold in March 1791 onto a group of 20 purchasers (see sidebar) in a total of 16 individual property transactions - so some of these plots of lands were evidently bought jointly, and some groups of purchasers probably bought multiple plots. According to Busson [1], "some 26 houses were completed by 1792".

Albion PLace Early 1800s

Figure 2 - Albion Place, probably set in the Early 1800's. *

As of March 1791 the land in the centre, referred to at the time as "The Green", still belonged to Stephen Heritage - more on this follows later.



Charles Busson, The book of Ramsgate, (page.105), Barracuda Books Limited, Buckingham, England, 1985.


* With thanks to Michael Child of Michaels Bookshop, Ramsgate - for use of the early photographs and drawings of Albion Place.