Former Margate pub The Orb flattened to make way for homes

The end of The Orb Photo Frank Leppard

Former Margate pub The Orb has been demolished today (November 10) to make way for 12 flats and 2 maisonettes.

The Orb closed in 2017. The Shepherd Neame boozer on Ramsgate Road was sold despite only being taken over by new managers a few months before, The pub freehold was being marketed for £225,000.

Thanet council approved the plans in August despite outrage from Margate Civic Society who said: “The existing structure has graced the site for almost 200 years and deserves better than this.”

Photo Frank Leppard

The pub, which was called The Crown and Sceptre up until 1962, has landlords listed dating back to 1839 but is also believed to occupy the site of the oldest hostelry in Margate, dating from the 15th century.

Photo Frank Leppard

Margate Civic Society  lodged a strongly worded objection to the demolition, saying: “We are  utterly opposed to the obliteration from the landscape of this iconic and much loved local historic landmark.

Photo Frank Leppard

“The only motive that supports the proposal derives from maximising profit from the site at the expense of local history and this must be rejected at all costs. We only get one opportunity to preserve local history and a rejection of this proposal would reflect the esteem in which we hold this building.”

Photo Frank Leppard

The society said the site should have been sold to a developer who  would “recognise the benefits of retaining and converting/extending this asset to provide a more modest return on investment.”

Photo Frank Leppard

Thanet council’s conservation officers said: “Although the Inn is of some established local significance and developmental history, there is in fact reduced intrinsic heritage value that remains within the property.”

Photo Frank Leppard

The officer says a report by Canterbury Archaeological Trust (CAT) details the development of the site alongside factual evidence that exists through maps, images and locally sourced information. The property is not listed.

Photo Frank Leppard

They add: “ I believe it to be true this is a site that may have once housed a building which may have been of more historical significance had it not been lost within the development of itself through time.

Photo Frank Leppard

“Unfortunately little to none remains of its character internally with the main somewhat ‘original’, but largely replaced and repaired, front façade resulting in a feature common and perhaps better portrayed elsewhere in Margate.”


  1. Is this the start of eradicating Thanet’s history the orb should have not being demolished. Perhaps the council should demolish the not in keeping with Margate high street Foy House how that was ever passed I will never know.

    • Were Foy House and Arlington House approved by the same people? We should be told!

      Seriously, I hate to see beautiful old pubs being demolished. Let’s hope the same fate doesn’t fall to the old Sportsman in Cliffsend or the former Crown and Sceptre in Acol, to name just two.

      • ‘The former Crown and Sceptre pub in Acol has been sold at auction – again.
        The property has planning permission to be converted into two homes; one with two bedrooms and the other with four’ Copied from The Isle of Thanet News!!! Always worth looking for articles before you make a comment Peter.

      • The pub in Acol had started to be demolished but was stopped. It had to all be put back as per the original. Don’t know at who’s cost. Currently still empty though.

  2. How low can this council go in their wantum destruction of Thanet’s historical buildings in the name of development for more homes on every inch of ground?
    This premises was iconic on the main route into Margate and had been a hostelry in one form or another for hundreds of years, now wiped out for profits of a developer.

  3. I predict the next pub to disappear will be the Brown Jug at Dumpton /Ramsgate. The site is ripe for development with a block of 2 bedroom flats. Will our present council’s planning department and planning department care. NO
    The usual claptrap will be. If we don’t give permission an appeal will cost us as a council which falls back onto residents in less money to spend.

  4. It is a long standing feud, Thanet Council seem to manage to mis-manage everything that they are dealing with.
    The Officers, those earning over £150,000.- per annum, are totally to blame for ignoring their Residents (Council Tax Payers) on anything that is put before them.
    It is not your ‘voted in representative’ (Councillor) who is to blame either. They are ignored too, by these obnoxious & toxic C E Officers. These are no good to Thanet and should be got rid of ASAP!

    • “Although the Inn is of some established local significance and developmental history, there is in fact reduced intrinsic heritage value that remains within the property.”

      What a bellend!

  5. How was this despicable act of official vandalism ever condoned? Yet another historic building razed to the ground to add yet more profits to the developers. This pub used to be a successful and much loved local pub, it should have at the very least been converted to housing thus keeping part of Thanet’s history intact. Disgusting.

    • The council were actively involvedin the wanton internal destruction of the old british legion in st.johns road, they didn’t involve their own conservation officer until works were well under way on the new scheme. Such actions completely undermine any notion that there is any real interest in the areas heritage, unless of course they can make some hapless owner occupier stump up the cash for their various ideas.

  6. Once again TDC have done it again demolished more of our history and run roughshod over the people’s oppositions to demolition and monstrosity of buildings to erected on the site. TDC answer to everything is either cut it down or pull it down if it’s not hedgerows and trees being cut down its pull the building down.

  7. If some of these people cared so much about the lost public houses of Thanet maybe you should have supported them when they were open and they wouldn’t of closed. So quick to blame a local council that is basically ran by people that live, work and love the area but don’t look at the actual reason for venues and public houses closing. Maybe stop moaning and support local.

    • The building wasn’t listed and so had never been considered of any great historical value. Its been common practice for tdc to do as they wish. Listed cottages in Vale road broadstairs were delisted and demolished to make way for the social housing that is called Castle Road ( or maybe court or somewhat)
      Look at the way the council treated the victorian urinal by dane park, boarded it up for 20 odd years , did nothing to look after it , then sold it to escape any liability.

  8. Its a shame all right, I would sooner see a church demolished than a pub! There are hundreds of churches unused, with little architectural merit, that could easily be demolished and the land used for housing!

  9. TDC is a council that seems to think that neglect is the only way to manage. Neglect heritage, neglect the bins, neglect the public toilets – neglect every public amenity long enough, it will fall down and go away….problem solved, money saved.
    Grant virtually every planning application, don’t bother if the developer ignores planning conditions or if there are genuine concerns just focus on the money.
    Dreadful shower of elected representatives and officers, no backbone and oblivious to the people who pay their allowances and wages.

  10. It’s a old pub, nothing special and I would rather see brownland sites turn into house than Greenfield sites.

    Where else could lots of house that have to be built in thanet be built ?

    • How about converting an old pub into housing instead? It’s been done successfully many times elsewhere. Another alternative is using parts of old buildings to build something both retro and new. The old Prospect Inn in Minster (now Holiday Inn Express) and The Sands Hotel are two great examples.

      • The wonders of the climate change act and the requirement to build ever more energy efficient homes makes economic conversion of old buildings very difficult especially when the finished product does not command a price premium.
        Had the building been listed then it would have been exempt from energy performance targets and with the additional protections listing bring survived, but it wasn’t. As mentioned previously much better to use a brownfield site to its best potential for the number of new housing units rather than plough up fields in order to save an old building for the sake of it.

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