Albion Place

Albion Place Gardens

Originally called "The Green" this was originally a relatively flat area of land, bordered on the NE and NW side by Albion Place, on the South side by a footpath running along the clif tops and on the South West side by a road running SE from Albion Hill, near the junction with Abbot's Hill, across to the cliffs. This road gave access to the rear of the upper parts of a terrace of six buildings in Goldsmid Place - now Nos. 54-64 Harbour Parade.

Figure 5 - Original layout of Albion Place Gardens

The green originally belonged to Stephen Heritage, and is later recorded as belonging to Paul Sackett. Paul Sacket sold it in 1803 to James Townley, and the land is later recorded as belonging to George Townley and Charles Gostling Townley. In 1842 the land appears to have been sold to a large number of owners, with covenants controlling its use, and in 1887 it is recorded as being owned by 15 different parties in various numbers of 1/28 th part shares. It is possible that the owners of the gardens at that time might have been the owners of the houses in Albion Place.

Busson claims that "famer William Abbot continued to graze his cattle on what are now the gardens until 1816" [1] - it appears rather odd to use this land as a field, but given that the green only appears to have come into multiple ownership in 1842 there doesn't appear to be any particular reason why an individual owner would wish to spend a lot of money on the gardens themselves, unless thay had a way in which they were able to recoup the costs.

[Note: In some cases, these types of gardens were maintained by a single owner with the purchasers of the individual building plots covenanting to pay a certain amount of money per year towards the maintainance. However these type of 'positive covenants' don't run with then land, so can potentially be difficult to enforce when the houses change hands.]

The Gardens were acquired by the Borough of Ramsgate in February 1887, from the many different owners at the total cost of 401 pounds, 11 shillings and 2 pence. As part of the purchase the Borough covenanted, amoungst other things, to keep the gardens open to the public at all reasonable times. However two small parts of the land were designated as being allowed to be used for public roadways.

Access to the cliff from the harbour was not easy, and it was decided in to build a new road from the harbour, cutting through the site of the Albion Hotel and other buildings on the SE side of Albion Hill and parts of the Albion Place Gardens and land to the rear of buildings in the now Harbour Parade up to the South of Albion House. The new road - Madeira Walk - was designed as a winding rock cutting built in an artificial rock called 'Pulhamite [4]'. This new rock effect was also extended into the Albion Place Gardens, which gained a waterfall.

Figure 6 - The original Layout of The Green with the route of Madeira walk overlayed

The road to Goldsmid Place and some other land to the south west was acquired by the Borough of Ramsgate in 1884 from the Board of Trade. The 'tail end' of this road still exists today; still giving access to the rear of the terrace of six buildings in Harbour Parade, albeit now through a pulhamite archway off Madera Walk. The history of the land to the south of the Green which was used for the road and for part of the waterfall etc is not clear.  Some of the property in what is now Harbour Parade (and was previously the waterfront part of Harbour Street) was owned by The Board of Trade (who use to run the harbour). Some of this property was occupied by harbour employees [5] and there are references to houses "with small garden in Albion Place" - which suggests that some of the land to the south of the green might possibly have also been owned by the board of trade.

The Albion Hotel still appears in the census of 1891, but by 1901 the hotel has now gone and a No.52 Harbour Street appears on the Census as being occupied by a Bank Manager, who presuambly lived over the bank.  The bank, later to be NatWest was later converted to a Pizza Restaurant - and the accommodation on the floors above is now used as rather substantial flats.



Charles Busson, The book of Ramsgate, (page.105), Barracuda Books Limited, Buckingham, England, 1985.
[2] 1849 map
[3] 1872 OS map.
[4] The Pulham Legacy,
[5] Report on the Royal Harbour 1869 made to The Board of Trade by Captain Tyler, R.E., Captain W.H. Walker, and H.R. Williams, Esq., 1869.