Pugin Week: Ramsgate to celebrate famous architect with host of events

Pugin Week celebrates the life and legacy of Augustus Pugin – the Ramsgate resident who famously designed The Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben) and led the worldwide gothic revival.

To celebrate his life and legacy a host of events will take place next week.

St Augustine’s will open its doors as part of the national Heritage Open Days  (7 – 10 September) and there will be a new digital reconstruction of historic St Augustine’s Abbey, Canterbury on display. It was created by MA students at the University of Kent under the tutelage of lecturer Howard Griffin and simulates the inside of the buildings.

This year’s festival is the first since the completion of renovation works to St Augustine’s  – Pugin called this place “my own child.”

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The restoration of “Big Ben” – noted recently in the media as the bell has been silenced – is placing Pugin at the heart of the nation’s mind. This autumn ITV will air a programme focusing on Big Ben and the restoration of the Houses of Parliament. This programme was partly filmed in St Augustine’s earlier this year.

John Coverdale, centre manager, said, “We are delighted to be welcoming many people to the Pugin Week Festival once again. Augustus Pugin is a truly national figure, and some of his greatest work was achieved in Ramsgate. It is tremendous that the town is celebrating him, in the place where he is buried and where he made his home.

“The Week has something for everyone. From costumed walks, to children’s activities, from talks to tours – this is really a great heritage week.”

 Other highlights of the Week include:

  •   Meet Pugin and his relatives on the Ramsgate Costumed Walk (Fri 8th Sept, 2.30pm, assemble at the West Cliff lift)
  •   Annual Pugin Lecture – “Beyond Puginism” by renowned Pugin scholar, Gerard Hyland (Mon 11th Sept, 7pm)
  •  Churchyard Tour – a chance to discover the fascinating people buried in this beautiful churchyard overlooking the English Channel, with professional genealogist Elizabeth Peters (Sun 10th Sept, 2pm)
  •   “John Hardman Powell and Ramsgate” – a talk on Pugin’s son-in-law’s time and links to Ramsgate, given by Pugin expert Michael Fisher (Tue 12th Sept, 7pm)
  •  Guided tours of St Augustine’s on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th at 11am, and 1pm (additionally at 3pm on Saturday)
  •   Pugin Concert given by The Victoria Consort (tickets are £10 for the concert) (Sun 10th Sept, 7pm)
  •      Children’s Activity Afternoon making and painting tiles (Sat 9th Sept, 12.30pm – 3pm)
  •  “Restoration Illustrated” – a talk about the Heritage Lottery Fund journey at St Augustine’s by Centre Manager, John Coverdale (Wed 13thSept, 7pm)

All events are free, with donations requested. The concert has a fee of £10, and tickets can be bought on the door or reserved by calling 01843 606756.

The full programme is available here: