Elizabeth Fry on the five pound note
Point 3 - Harbour history
In November 1703 a great storm destroyed an entire naval squadron which was sheltering in the channel between the coastline and Goodwin Sands. Talk began of the possibility of a harbour of refuge being built at Ramsgate.
By 1749 work began on the harbour and it was completed in 1792.
Nowadays pilot boats, the long distance and in-shore lifeboats as well as commercial fishing vessels are moored in the outer harbour. Sadly Ramsgate lost its large fishing fleet during the First World War when the fleet moved to Brixham in Devon.
Dunkirk Little Ship the Sundowner
The inner harbour is home to local and international sailing boats as well as the Mary of Colchester, the oldest boat afloat in Ramsgate. Spot her as you wander around the harbour towards the town centre. Originally dating from 1844, she has been completely rebuilt at least twice!
Today a freight ferry service to Ostend runs from the port about 20 times a day and there is a small passenger service too but back in the 18th century it was a very different kind of boat leaving Ramsgate…
Ramsgate was often the last port of call in Britain before the prison ships loaded with female convicts, set sail for New South Wales, Australia.
Turning her attention to the practice of shackling the women prisoners, after much work Elizabeth finally won the right for them to travel without chains.
After visiting many times with her family, staying up on the East Cliff, she eventually came to live in Ramsgate in 1845 hoping that the fresh sea air would improve her health but she died soon after.
From the harbour begin to head towards the town centre. Cross the road at the pelican crossing and follow the pedestrianised road into Harbour Street.
last updated: 06/03/2008 at 14:22