Parliament passed an Act in 1749, following the great storm of 1748, giving approval for construction of a new harbour at Ramsgate.
Dating back to Roman times, Ramsgate had been a very small fishing village, with only a wooden pier forming the tiny harbour. In 1820, King George IV embarked, with the Royal Squadron from Ramsgate on his way to Hanover. In appreciation of the hospitality he received, he decreed that Ramsgate harbour should have the right to add 'Royal' to it's name. This status as a Royal Harbour is unique in mainland Britain, today the town and Royal Harbour still capture the hearts and imaginations of all who visit. The elegant and graceful Victorian architecture, which sits alongside much older fishermen's cottages, provides a beautiful backdrop to a vibrant and modern town.
Thanet District Council, the owner and operator of the bustling harbour, take pride in it's Royal status. Retaining it's maritime heritage with a thriving marina servicing local and international yachtsman, a local fishing industry and providing facilities including a range of marine related businesses that operate in premises in historic picturesque arches under Royal Parade.
Ramsgate Royal Harbour has played important roles throughout recent history. It was one of the main embarkation harbours during the Napoleonic wars, resulting in many of Ramsgate's streets being named to commemorate the assocaition with this period in its history, including the harbour's main thoroughfare, Military Road. The promenades and crescents that overlook the harbour are reminiscent of this rich period in Ramsgate's history too and their fine architecture provide a stunning backdrop to the marina.
In more recent times many thousands of soldiers disembarked after escaping from the beaches of Dunkirk in 1940, and one of the boats used in the evacuation is kept in the Marina today. The Royal Navy then used it as a base for Motor Torpedo Boats in the "battle of the narrow seas".
Today it is an important ferry port with links to the continent and one of the finest Marina's in the south east, holding 4 Gold Anchors.
If you wish to find out more about the history of Ramsgate visit the Thanet tourist information web site.