Botanical gardens, gym or commune among ideas for a refurbished Celandine Hall in Ramsgate

Celandine Hall in Harbour Street (image google maps)

A botanical garden, florist and café or virtual reality gaming, gym and restaurant are among the suggestions for uses of a refurbished Celandine Hall in Ramsgate.

The building, in Harbour Street, has been empty for a number of years and has suffered deterioration but owners, Moxie Management Ltd, have this month been granted [permission by Thanet council for refurbishment and alterations at the site.

Following renovations the aim is to lease the building.

In a planning document from TaylorHare Architects permission was sought for works including the installation of an awning on the front, replacement windows, internal alterations to include removal of ground floor flooring, installation of two new staircases following removal of existing stairs and the removal of walls for the creation of a plant room plus additional toilets and a shower room.

The document says: “In addition to altering the building to make it fit for future occupation, the existing fabric also needs repairing and arresting to prevent rapid deterioration. Long term economic resilience and occupation is key to the upkeep, maintenance and survival of the historic fabric. The purpose of this application is to configure a building ‘shell and core’ for fitout by future occupants.

Architect image

“The proposed shop front is to be redecorated (colour to be confirmed) along with two additions in the form of a new awning and sign. High street regeneration strategy research concluded that making a visual presence on the high street in combination with encouraging occupant use of the pavement was key, therefore the introduction of a new awning and sign are central to this.

“The backlit sign is a reinstatement but instead of ‘Cafe’ will read ‘Open’ as a symbol of high street regeneration. New interventions within the building are for the most part new staircases

“It is judged the proposed scheme seeks to be respectful to the existing building, whilst contributing to the regeneration of Harbour Street, Ramsgate. The proposed scheme delivers the following: – Identifies and retains significant building fabric features as evidence of the building’s rich history  Acknowledges the opportunities and constraints the site and listed building present

Proposes improvements to vertical circulation, WC provision and flexible services for future occupants.”

The building, at 29-31 Harbour Street, is thought to have been a toy shop in the first half of the 1800s.

Image post 1929 ( via TaylorHare Architects)

It then evolved into a drapers and gentleman’s outfitters in the late 1800s before being annexed by the growth of the Hyland, Lewis and Linon department store.

During this era the building undertook significant alterations. The rear of the building was reconfigured and modern services installed. Sometime after 1929 the shop front was unified and remains as found today. The property is Grade II Listed.

Suggestions in a design document also include using the building as a gallery/museum, cafe and shop; an educational institute, theatre and bar; spa / pools, bar and therapist site or even as a commune, office space and shop.

Architect image

The document adds: “Due to there being a great deal of vacant shop space in Ramsgate, maximising the quantity of space is not a first priority. Instead, the quality of space is important – naturally well lit, historically referential and inspiring.”

The document suggests historical references should centre around The High Seas, Neoclassical Grandeur and Faux Natural History to align with Ramsgate’s heritage.

The application was approved on May 5.

Building timeline

1849 29 Harbour Street: Registered to Misses Lyon as a Toy shop

1885 29 Harbour Street: Parcel of land to rear subleased between Edward King Kennard, tailor and outfitter of Ramsgate, John Orrick Kennard and William Kennard, draper of Croydon from Alfred Davis Hodgman, carrier of Ramsgate

1895 29-31 Harbour Street: Registered to E K Kennard, tailor, outfitter and agent to Dr Jaeger

1911 29-31 Harbour Street: Electric lighting and hot water heating system installed. Commissioned by Lewis, Hyland & Linon occupying the full address

1914/15 29-37 Harbour Street: Lewis, Hyland & Linom family drapers & outfitters now registered to full address. Lewis joins the company name.

1929 29-31 Harbour Street: Lewis & Hyland, drapers, fashion specialists & gents outfitters registered to address. Loss of Linon from company name. Shopfront rebranded afterwards, likely to be when the existing single shop front replaced separate 29 & 31 entrances

1950s 29-39 Harbour Street unified. 29-31 yard space no longer shown in map.

Late C20 29-31 Harbour St. separated from 33. Registered ‘Celandine’ Hall, Indoor Market until its closure in 2014.

Currently empty


  1. Lewis and Hyland occupied another Thanet address at the junction of Northdown Road and Wilderness Hill in Cliftonville until the 1970’s when they sadly shut up shop for the final time here.

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