Demolition crew on site at former Swiss Cottage pub in Ramsgate

Demolition at Braces in Ramsgate Photo Trevor Coles

Demolition of the former Braces pub -formerly The Swiss Cottage and before that the Duke of Kent – in Ramsgate is now taking place (January 14).

It follows the granting of an application by Thanet council last August.

The King Street property has been empty for more than a decade and had become a dumping ground, attracting rats. Residents at the rear of the property have also previously raised fears for the safety of a number of young people who have trespassed at the site.

Photo Nathan Coade

A notice of demolition was issued last September. The work will be carried out by Aylesham based Goody Demolition.

A revised planning application for the site was submitted last year and is still awaiting decision.

In 2017 permission was granted for it to be razed to the ground to make way for nine, two-bed flats .

A previous application for 11 flats at the site was refused. An appeal in 2010 against the decision  was unsuccessful.

Photo Nathan Coade

But the pub was then put on the sales market again for offers in the region of £385,000.

According to Land Registry £350,000 was paid for the site by Deal-based Pemberton Estates (SE) Ltd on December 7, 2018.

Image Designs Architecture Ltd

The latest application, submitted in March last year with further amendments in August, is for twelve, 2 bed flats and two, 1 bed flats and a communal roof terrace.

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It is also  proposed to create a new section of footpath along the side of the development adjoining Belmont Street, extending the curb line into King Street.


  1. Such a shame that yet another architectural icon had been allowed to deteriorate to the stage that it had to be demolished – only to be replaced with a cheap and soulless, nailed together box construction.

    • It was a poor example of Mock Tudor architectural nonsense anyway! Building flats there is more worthy, especially single bed which are desperately needed because too many single people are having to pay the Tory Bedroom tax for bedrooms they don’t use, but can’t move!

  2. Used to clean the windows inside and out for £9 in the 70s . Took us all day ,leather an duster job.
    Not forgetting the few bottles of scotch hidden in the bucket lol.
    Bless Roy and Olive RIP

  3. Cramming in as many as possible into a tiny space is what development is all about today. Money and profit is the game above all else. So again we ask where will the gardens be for the occupants of these flats? and where is the bin space to avoid all the mess on the pavements? I presume there is plenty of parking space nearby though!

    • Have a look on the tdc website at the planning associated with the site and many of your questions will be answered.

  4. And so the shocking assault on the historical fabric of Britain’s towns continues. This site needed redevelopment, certainly, but there is no way that complete demolition should have been sanctioned.

    It is obviously a unique building of architectural interest, and it will be replaced with what? Another legoland block of pokey flats, built as cheaply as possible. It should have been mandatory for the developers to at least keep the exterior structure and roof intact, so that the look from the street was unaltered, right on the thoroughfare through town.

    It is high time we banned demolition of pre-war buildings in this country. As if the bombs of WW2 didn’t do enough damage to our towns, especially Ramsgate! And have we learned nothing from the abhorrent town-planning decisions of the 50s, 60s and 70s? Any yet it seems the threat to our built heritage is still a strong as ever from within our councils.

    A terrible shame.

  5. I was plod in 70’s & 80’s and enjoyed nicking a few of the dodgy customers. Shame to see another old building go to a new shoe box development certainly greed these days over nostalgia. Yes there are never gardens and bin areas are never used residents just Chuck black sacks out windows I say nick the development owners for allowing fly tipping or get caretakers to attend if you manage property correctly. Look at my old workplace Ramsgate nick it was a girls private school in 30’s and 40’s then cop shop. One of the finest staircases in country they said but TDC allowed it to rot. Criminal planning Dept I say

  6. It is disappointing to see such negative comments. The building is no older than 1938. It is a pastiche of Dutch and Tudor styles and is very much out of keeping with the rest of King Street. The proposed flats are the modern equivalent of earlier housing, much of which (from the 18th century onward) was jerry-built with shoddy materials.

    • However, I don’t mean to imply that the new building will be shoddily built, but that not all old buildings are worth saving.

      • I beg to differ. The modern built environment in Britain is appalling, thanks in the main to over-zealous redevelopment of old neighbourhoods, and the callous destruction of the authentic fabric of our towns just because of the unfounded belief that “newer is better”.

        The Swiss Cottage may not be to your taste, but it’s undoubtedly one of King St’s most fascinating buildings. I think it’s great, personally, and I know lots of others do too. Ramsgate will be yet one more notch less quirky and charming without it.

        • I doubt that demolition of building takes place simply because people think that newer is better. Of course, very often, newer actually is better. Which is why in the post-war year many people eagerly accepted council tenancies in new flats and houses with indoor bathrooms and lavatories, and hot water on tap..

    • Every building in King Street wants demolishing. It’s a cesspit and dangerous. Wake up TDC you’ve aloud
      Ramsgate to decay beyond belief. The town is no longer safe to walk in.

      • Yep, back in the late 80’s i lived up by the old gas holders and park, a night out started in Kent’s as it was then and moved on through the town usually to end in Peggy’s. King Street was not the best even then but now its squalid seemingly only held together by dodgy nail bars and beauty salons that exist, quite why one street has so many is a modern wonder.
        King street like the top of margate high street need flattening and whole new plan.

        • There is also an excellent second-hand bookshop and a less well-organized, but well worth a rummage, one.

          No, King Street does not need flattening. Neither does the top of Margate High Street.

  7. Well, as 5Ports says, these comments are merely personal opinions. I doubt whether the older parts of our towns are demolished simply because of the belief (not always unfounded) that newer is better. For example, in the 50s and 60s many families were happy to move to modern council houses and flats with indoor plumbing including a lavatory, electricity and,though not always, gas.

  8. P.Crowther is wrong on several counts. Ramsgate is generally saffe to walk in. King Street is not a cesspit and needs considerable refurbishment not demolition. It is not dangerous (leaving out the many drivers who speed down it). Nor is it a cesspit.

    • King street is a prime exhibitor of the shoddy poor quality badly executed work of thanets finest bodgers over the years, the buildings that were “saved” years ago ( fish shop, cycle, shop, hifi shop etc , turned into housing) have not worn their years well, most of the buildings are poorly converted and rotten to the core.
      Its lost

      2 newsagents
      Fireplace shop
      Motorcycle shop
      Bike shop
      Fish shop
      Junk shop

      Thats just off top of my head, the social housing built at the bottom of boundary road is poorly maintained, which when combined with that in hardres street and new developments in king street have turned that corner of ramsgate into a sink estate.
      It needs a clean sheet of paper and some careful investment and design to turn it all round, just the same as the “junkies paradise” forming steadily at the top end and its surrounds of margate high street, its “druggy social club “ being sheldons, TDC would be doing the town a favour if it paid the owners to close it. First off build a public toilet and maybe the pervading stench of urine will not dominate the street when the warm weather returns.

  9. The area is already over populated,doubt the financial gainers care much about that.
    The earl st vincent is up for sale,advertised as a former public house. Expect the local population to increase even more

    • Precisely the current piecemeal approach as businesses close/ sites are sold and are redeveloped leads only to additional housing aimed at small cheap homes, there needs to be a real plan for the area with some vision. There’s a real risk as things are currently going of creating another area with little to offer anyone.

      • I can’t see anything wrong with building housing in an area which has lost its identity as a local shopping street. It’s Westwood Cross which should be demolished! (but not till some of the shops have been relocated to Thanet’s town centres.)

        • Nothing wrong at all with building housing, but it needs to be planned around the whole area AND the truly awful buildings dealt with, pointless allowing the area to decline the it is, it also needs a mix of tenures. Just look at what became of cliftonville when it was allowed to go into decline in the late 70’s , its taken 40 years to just halt the decline and start a bit of a turnaround (which still needs to become entrenched and sustainable), if the king street area is allowed to do the same it’ll be criminal.
          The high streets as they were are finished, people just don’t want to use them, first it was a migration to out of town centres ,now its the move to online.
          The rates legislation that has allowed the massive rise of “charity” shops needs looking at along with a reduction in gambling establishments ( though that is starting to happen) and a crackdown on fast food establishments. That serve no purpose. Ramsgate is little short of a war zone at the weekends, no where near as safe as it was and getting worse.

          • “Ransgate is little short of a war zone at weekends”? I live in Ramsgate, and it doesn’t seem like a war zone to me.

          • Marva do you frequent the harbour area, harbour street, king street and the surrounds in the early hours of fri, sat, sun. Speak with local ambulance and police or the door staff on the bars. I personally know of one lad that was put into a coma for a week after a random attack as he walked home with his girlfriend in hereson road, fortunately many of the other assaults don’t have the same consequences.

  10. Yes it is a massive shame that another great building is to be lost. A great shame that Ramsgate has lost a once upon a time a great pub.

    The development of the site will be a great addition to King St.
    It will probably be developed with local people mind IE affordable housing. Looking at the plans on TDC website there will be plenty of bin space, also there is a green roof space that looks like most of the flats will have access to.
    It’s better to have a good looking building in a town centre rather than a eye shore that is used by drug users and fly tippers

    • Why has Local Chap made an alarmist generalization about the whole of Ramsgate, for the entire weekend, when what he is referring to is a few streets with a lot of establishments which sell cheap alcohol?

  11. Apologies, i failed to clarify my statement, however what occurs on the seafront blights the reputation of the whole town/ thanet.
    Chatting to a scottish chap who’d come to visit thanet having seen various articles in papers, his comments could be summarised as,

    “ i can see why there is a queue at the pumps, people will leave much quicker than they probably planned, i’ve never seen an area that advertises itself on the back of so little, find something interesting/attractive then turn a corner and return to run down tat”

    Everyone runs around excitedly about thanet pulling its socks up but ignores the fact its trousers have fallen down in the mean time.

    Its all part of thanets ups and downs, but the overall picture is one of decline relative to the rest of the southeast.

  12. What proportion of visitors to Ramsgate spends the early hours of the weekend in Harbour Street and King Street?

    • No idea, it was just a conversation whilst filling up, chap and his wife were most unimpressed with what margate had to offer. Ramsgate is similar, it has the harbour a good beach but little more, other than the weekly re-enactment of the “walking dead” otherwise known as ramsgate market.

  13. Ramsgate market is not “the walking dead”. Of course almost all street markets have been affected by recent developments but people still like to go to them.

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