A View of the Parish

Sattelite image of Margate, Kent, England
Click on map to view full size on Google Maps.
1881 Ordnance survey map of Margate with link to modern ordnance survey map
Click here for larger image of this 1881 survey.
Click map for modern Ordnance survey map.
Reproduced from Ordnance Survey map data by permission of Ordnance Survey, © Crown copyright.

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Statistical Summary

Acres:  in the parish are 3,802 land plus 770 water
OS co-ordinates:  TR355704
Latitude:  51:23.0304N
Longitude:  1:23.0032E

Parish Church:  St. John the Baptist
Registers commence:  1559
Other Denominations:
  Wesleyan Methodist
Lady Huntingdon's Chapel
Baptists, Ebenezer Chapel
Congregational Chapel
Calvinist Chapel
Quaker's Chapel, Drapers
Roman Catholic Chapel

  Monday - St. Nicholas at Wade
  Wednesday - Margate & Ramsgate
  Thursday - Sarre
  Friday - Minster
  Saturday - Monkton, Margate &

  Palm Monday - Minster
  30 May - Acol
  13 July - Minster
  22 July - Monkton
  10 Aug - St. Lawrence
  8 Sep - St. Nicholas at Wade
  14 Oct - Sarre

Newspapers:  weekly at Ramsgate
Electoral Place:  Ramsgate
  Petty Sessions and County Courts -
  Margate and Ramsgate

Jails:  at St. Clement's, Sandwich

  Royal National at Westbrook
  Head Post office
  Railway station with telegraph
  money order office
  savings bank
  banking office
  7 chief inns
  literary and scientific institution
  reading rooms
  bathing machines and rooms
  droit house
  assembly rooms
  billiard rooms
  coffee rooms
  Tivoli Gardens
  Races and regatta in September

Registration District:  Thanet
Poor Law Union:  Thanet 1835-1930
Workhouse:  Minster, Thanet Diocese:  Canterbury
Archdeaconry:  Canterbury
Deanery:  Westbere
   pre-1859 - Archdeaconry Court
        of Canterbury

   post-1858 - Principal Probate Registry
Lathe:  St. Augustine
Hundred:  Ringslow
Houses:  2,055.1
Greenwood map of Margate as it existed in 1821
Greenwood's Map of 1821. Click map for larger image.

Domesday Reference:

Principal landholder:
Parishes within 6 mile radius:
  Acol, Ash (Sandwich), Birchington Chislet, Elmstone, Minster in Thanet, Monkton, Preston (Ash and Wingham), Ramsgate, Reculver, Sandwich (Sts Clement, Mary and Peter), Sarre, St Nicholas at Wade, Stonar, Stourmouth, Thanet St Lawrence, Thanet St. Peter


If you would like a local Margate site photographed please contact Suzannah Foad, who has graciously offered to assist family researchers in this manner.

Margate is a town, a parish, and a sub-district in Thanet district, Kent.  The town stands on the north shore of the Isle of Thanet, on a branch of the Southeastern railway, and on a branch of the London, Chatham, and Dover railway, 3 miles west-north-west of the North Foreland, 5 miles north-north-west of Margate, and 72 miles east-by-south of London.  It was originally a small village called Meregate or Mer-gate, signifying "an opening or gate into the sea";  it includes the site of another and later small village, called St. John or Lucas-Dane;  and it long continued, even after the junction of the two villages, to be only a small fishing town and small seaport.

It had a wooden pier long before the time of Henry VIII;  and it was often an embarking point from England to Holland.  The Elector-Palatine and his wife, the Princess Elizabeth, daughter of James I, embarked at it;  William III more than once sailed from it, and landed at it;  George I and George II landed at it;  the Duke of Marlborough selected it as his place of embarking and of landing to and from his several campaigns;  and the Princess Alexandra of Denmark, on her way to be married to the Prince of Wales, landed at it in 1863.  It is recorded to have been in repute "for fishery and coasting trade" but, in the time of Henry VIII, when Leland wrote, it was "sore decayed".

Its houses, even at a later date, like those of Flemish and Scotch fishing towns, were generally mere cottages.  But it began, toward the middle of last century, to be frequented as a bathing place;  it gradually attracted an increase of visitors by its firm and smooth bathing beach;  it acquired, about 1790, by invention of one of its own inhabitants, the first bathing machines ever used in England;  and it has gone on to have increasing attraction till, for many years past, it has been annually frequented by a temporary population of from 50,000 to 100,000.  The influx to it from the metropolis, both by steamers and by railway, is very great, insomuch as to render it practically a suburb of London.  It is much less aristocratic than some other great bathing resorts;  and, on that very account, has great multitudes both of temporary residents and of flying visitors.  A few Roman coins and an urn were found in the cliffs adjacent to it in 1791;  but neither these relics nor any records give it a claim to high antiquity.

The town has a head post office, a money order office and a savings bank, a railway station with telegraph, a banking office, and seven chief inns;  and is a seat of petty sessions and county courts.  Markets are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays;  and have a good supply of meat, poultry, fish and vegetables.  Fishing for skate, haddock, soles, and flat fish is carried on;  some little commerce exists with the Netherlands;  and a coasting trade is conducted in corn, timber, and coal.  All the amusements common to a watering place, and all appliances for them - row boats, sailing boats, donkeys, donkey chaises, telescopes, and bazaars, abound.  The Tivoli gardens, though at a little distance, may be considered as belonging to the town;  and they resemble, on a small scale, the quondam Vauxhall gardens of the metropolis.  Races and a regatta are held in September.  Many interesting places, with features either of beauty or of antiquity, are in the near neighbourhood, or within easy distance, and contribute much to variety of recreation.  The water works are at Tivoli, were opened in 1859, and have a reservoir in St. Peter's footpath.

The parish contains also the hamlets of Garlinge and Woodchurch;  and comprises 3,802 acres of land, and 770 of water.  Real property in 1860, £50,538;  of which £470 are in gas works.  Population of the parish in 1851, 10,099;  in 1861, 10,019.  Houses, 2,055.

Upwards of twenty ancient tools resembling adzes or chisels and formed of a sort of bronze, were found in 1724 near Garlinge.  A section of the parish, containing a population of 4,818 in 1861, was constituted a separate charge, under the name of Trinity, in 1847.

The sub-district is conterminate with the parish.

Garlinge is a place 1-1/4 miles wouthwest of Margate; with a post office under Margate.1

Description of the Town

The town stands on the declivities of two hills, and along low ground at their base.  It is well laid out;  and has good streets, paved and lighted.  A sea wall, about a mile in length, extends along the coast, to defend the town from the sea.

The Marine Terrace lies along the shore, contiguous to the sea wall;  was originally 1,500 feet long;  was recently extended, about 1,000 feet, in front of the Royal Crescent;  and forms a favourite walk for residents and visitors.

The Esplanade runs parallel to the Marine Terrace, and is about 1/4 of a mile long.  A pier of Whitby stone, 901 feet long, 60 feet wide and 20 feet high, was built in 1810-5, by Rennie, at a cost of more than £100,000;  forms a grand promenade;  and has, at the extremity, a lighthouse in the form of a Doric pillar, open to the public, and commanding fine sea-views.

A new landing place, a platform supported by iron pillars, and extending several hundred feet from the shore, was constructed in 1854, for enabling steamers to land their passengers at any time of tide;  and this also is used as a public promenade.

The streets came to be offensive from deficiency of sanitary arrangements;  but measures for improving them by drainage and otherwise, were in progress in the latter part of 1866.

The market was erected in 1820;  and is enclosed by Tuscan porticoes and iron railings.  The town hall, near the market, is a plain building, and contains some portraits.  The droit office, at the end of the pier, is a handsome structure with a portico, and has an illuminated clock.  A waiting room, for the convenience of passengers by the steam vessels, adjoins the droit house, and was built at a cost of £500.

Public Buildings

The Royal National hospital stands at Westbrook;  is a neat building;  has accommodation for 250 patients;  and is supported by legacies and donations.

The assembly rooms have an exterior colonnade, are handsomely fitted up, and include billiard rooms and coffee rooms.  The theatre was built in 1787, and is a convenient structure.  The literary and scientific institution, in Hawley square, was established in 1839;  maintains lectures on scientific subjects during winter;  and contains a library with about 2,500 volumes, a well-supplied reading room, and an interesting museum.

The Clifton baths are excavated out of solid chalk rock;  comprise a series of subterranean passages;  and include a library, a news-room, a billiard table, and an organ.  Bathing rooms also are in High Street, and have reading rooms attached.  A bathing house likewise is on the Lower Marine Terrace.



St. John's church dates from 1050;  retains some Norman portions;  is constructed of rough flint;  consists of nave and aisles, with a tower;  and contains numerous brasses.  The living of St. John is a vicarage, in the diocese of Canterbury.  Value of St. John, £681 with a habitable glebe house.  Patron, the Archbishop of Canterbury

Trinity church was built in 1825;  is in the pointed style, of brick with Bath stone dressings;  comprises nave, aisles, and chancel;  and has a tower 135 feet high, erected partly at the expense of the Trinity House, and serving as a landmark.  The living of Trinity is a vicarage, in the diocese of Canterbury.  Value of Trinity church, £450.  Patron, Trustees

A small church, serving also as a school house, is at Garlinge.  A chapel was formerly at Dane, but has gone to ruin.

An Independent chapel is in Union Crescent.

There is a Calvinistic chapel in Love Lane.

Also there is a chapel of Lady Huntingdon's Connexion, in Addington Square.

A Baptist chapel, near Cross Street.

A Wesleyan chapel in Hawley Square.

A Brethren's chapel in Hawley Square.

A Roman Catholic chapel, in Princes Crescent.

A building contiguous to the pier, to serve as a place of worship on Sunday and as a reading room during the week, was projected, under the auspices of the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1862.1


A charity school gives education to about 400 children.

A national school is connected with St. John's church.

An infant school, with new building erected in 1866, adjoins the national school.

A Church of England school is in Church Square.

A British school is in New Cross Street.

There is also a Roman Catholic boys', girls', and infants' school.1


Yoakley's Drapers' alms houses have an endowed income of £591.

The Alexandra alms houses, in memorial of the Princess Alexandra's landing in 1863, were built by public subscription in 1866, and have an elevation somewhat in the Italian style.  The total of endowed charities is about £800.1

Organizational Structure of Margate

The town was made a municipal borough in 1857;  and is governed by a mayor, 4 aldermen and 12 councillors.  Population of the town in 1861, 8,874.  House, 1,827.1

1John Marius Wilson, comp.  The Imperial Gazatteer of England and Wales. (London, England: A. Fullerton & Co., 1870).

2Edward Hasted, ed. and comp.  The town and parish of Margate: Town and manors, The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 4 (1798), pp. 260-307.

3William Page, 1861-1934, ed.  The Victoria County History of Kent, vol. 3, p. 359.(London, England: The St. Catherine Press, Stamford Street, Waterloo, S.E., 1932).



Soon to be Added


Location of Records

Soon to be Added


Soon to be Added

Church Registers


  • 1801-1831

  • 1841

  • 1851

  • 1861

  • 1871

  • 1881

  • 1891

  • 1901

Parish Chest

  • Settlement Certificates
  • Removal Orders
  • Bastardy Examinations
  • Parish-assisted Immigrants
  • Churchwarden's Accounts
  • Overseer's Accounts
  • Surveyor's Accounts
  • Workhouse Records
  • Pew Rents
  • Donors' Rolls
  • Vestry Minutes
  • Bishops' Visitations
  • Parish Magazines
  • Parish Histories

Total Population3

1801    -   4766
1811    -   6126
1821    -   7843
1831    -   10339
1841    -   11050 (includes 68 seamen on board vessels in the harbour)
1851    -   10099
1861    -   10019
1871    -   13903
1881    -   18226
1891    -   21367
1901    -   26734
1911    -   28458 (estimated)
1921    -   46480 (estimated)

Margate Distance to

London 64.4 mi.
Canterbury 15.3 mi.
Ashford 27.8 mi.
Bromley 59.0 mi.
Chatham 36.8 mi.
Cranbrook 41.8 mi.
Dartford 51.6 mi.
Deptford 61.6 mi.
Dover 18.2 mi.
Faversham 21.8 mi.
Folkestone 22.8 mi.
Gravesend 43.5 mi.
Greenwich 59.8 mi.
Hythe 25.3 mi.
Maidstone 37.8 mi.
Milton Regis 28.2 mi.
Queenborough 27.4 mi.
Margate 4.2 mi.
Rochester 39.1 mi.
Sandwich 7.6 mi.
Sheerness 27.5 mi.
Tenterden 37.1 mi.
Tunbridge Wells 51.5 mi.
Woolwich 57.4 mi.


Municipal & Public Records

  • Freemen, etc.
  • Electoral Rolls

Wills & Estate Records

  • AD index 1448-1857
  • CC index 1448-1857
  • PCC 1338-1858
  • PPR 1858-1925
  • Depositions

Court Records

  • Quarter Sessions
  • Transportations
  • Tithe Apportionment c1830s
  • Protestation Rolls c1641-1643
  • Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy 1662
  • Oaths of Allegiance c1720s

Military Records

Land Records
& Maps

Tax Lists

  • Poll Tax
  • Hearth Tax
  • Window Tax
  • Hair Powder Tax
  • Land Tax Assessments 1780-1831
  • Land Tax Assessments 1799-1805

Other Records

  • Apprenticeships
  • Immigration
  • School Records
  • Notable Events
  • Nefarious Activities
  • Visitation, 1612

Village Resources

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