Dalby Square tour and invite to explore historic former Hotel Cecil to mark National Civic Day

The property is in Arthur Road (picture circa 1908) and has been restored

As part of National Civic Day on Saturday ( June 22),there will be a series of activities in and around Dalby Square, Cliftonville, which is part of the £2.5million publicly funded Dalby Square Townscape Heritage Initiative scheme.

The scheme is dedicated to celebrating and preserving the unique heritage of Dalby Square, the historic heart of Cliftonville West.

12 Arthur Road, open house… 10am – 4pm

Visitors are being invited to explore inside one of the Dalby Square area’s finest historic houses. Previously the Cecil Hotel, the house at 12 Arthur Road has been extensively renovated as part of the Dalby Square THI scheme, with many historic features restored. There will be historical information available with guides from Margate Civic Society volunteers.

12 Arthur Road is featured in Turner Contemporary’s current exhibition, The Seaside Photographed. The house and previous resident Ivy Gregory were photographed by Danielle Peck, who will be appearing at Turner Contemporary on Saturday from 3pm to 4pm as part of the Meet the Photographer event. The house is now available to let as a holiday-let and for conferences.

The 19th century home was brought back to its former splendour following an 18-month restoration project.

A team of 13 from DG Joinery and architect Sam Causer worked on the intricate restoration and refurbishment. The now stunning building was in a poor state of repair with parts of the property literally falling down.

Its transformation included the restoration of original features, such as mouldings, cornices, bannisters, flooring, Victorian tiles and fireplaces and spectacular stained glassed windows.

The property, bought by brothers Christopher and Mark Walker in 2013, had been owned by the Gregory family for more than 70 years, who had retained many of the original features that make the house so special.

The house was built in the 1890s and, along with number 28, is distinct from other properties because it is double-fronted, stands three-storeys high and, unique in the road, has a stain glassed orangey – added after the original build – above the ornately columned porchway.

The property first appears on the 1901 census under the title ‘Kennington Lodge. The householder was Emmanuel Levy, who lived with his two daughters and three servants.

In 1940 the house was sold to the Frederick Hotels chain and just after World War Two it was bought by the Gregory family.

Originally the family ran a guesthouse but in the 60s they converted the business to holiday flatlets with up to 50 guests at any one time. That business ended in the 1980s and the property was used as a family home.

The most recent conversion has seen the 10 bedrooms reduced to five- all with beautiful en-suites containing roll-top baths, the walls stripped back to the lime plaster, period furniture put in place – including cast iron radiators – with doors, windows, floors and tiling restored.

Dalby Square historical tour… 1pm- 2pm

Dalby Square

Meeting point: The red telephone box, Dalby Square (south side of the gardens)
The Dalby Square THI team will lead a short guided walkabout of Dalby Square. Learn about the history of Dalby Square and key features of the £2.5m Dalby Square THI scheme that has run since 2013.

Funding for the Dalby Square THI was made available from the National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund, and Thanet District Council. The aim of the scheme is to change negative attitudes about Cliftonville West, so that the historic built environment will come to be seen as an asset, rather than a hindrance. Under the scheme, properties and communal gardens have been renovated and improved.

1 Comment

  1. I walked around the house, sad to say I wasn’t really impressed, It was a sad mixture of old and modern, the poor old house didn’t know what it was supposed to be, I asked a few questions and was told it was to give a”Flavour” of it’s past history, having been brought up in a similar house in the 50 / 60s there were very few comparisons, but just my thoughts, obviously a lot of work had gone into it which was very commendable, Likewise the historical tour, I could hardly hear what the guide was saying as he just softly mumbled, and the tour consisted mainly of explanations of what the initiative scheme had achieved rather than interesting facts about the square, sorry to be negative but that’s how it came over to me, there were some sparkling lights however these were the young ladies handing out the leaflets, and information, they were very keen knowledgeable and made us feel very welcome, ten out of ten…

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