Display shares highlights of Ramsgate’s three-year High Street Heritage Action Zone scheme

Ramsgate ravens and information boards charting High Street Heritage Action Zone highlights

Highlights from the Ramsgate High Street Heritage Action Zone scheme (HSHAZ) can be seen at the former Haberdashery shop in Broad Street.

The three year project, funded by Historic England, comes to an end this month. During the scheme grants were made grants to repair and restore historic shop fronts, bring a disused shop back into use in Harbour Street, undertake a Town Centre study, create a Shop Front Design Guide, and fund community engagement activities and a cultural programme.

AsWasIsNow gallery in Harbour Street (Image TDC)

Among funded work was the restoration of the original lead glass shopfront at the AsWasIsNow gallery in Harbour Street. Gallery owner Jo Smith secured the premises in June 2022 to create a space to honour the memory and display the work of dad Dave Smith, who died in September 2020 aged 73.

Renovation of the property began in January 2023. When the previous modern signage was removed an earlier shopfront with an historic Art Nouveau fascia was discovered.

The decorative leaded glass gives a tantalising glimpse to the turn of the 20th century when the building was operating as Rose Jewellers. It was decided immediately that the newly uncovered historic features would remain in place and would need to be restored.

Thanet District Council became aware of the planned heritage restoration works and contacted Jo to see how an Historic England grant could help her restore the shopfront to its former glory.

Celandine Hall (Image Miles & Barr)

A grant was also made for renovation work at the Grade II listed Celandine Hall in Harbour Street – now the premises of The Modern Boulangerie.

The property was last used as an indoor market until its closure in 2014, It has a history of trade from a toy shop in the first half of the 1800s to a drapers and gentleman’s outfitters in the latter half of the century before being annexed by the growth of the Hyland, Lewis and Linon department store.

During this era the building had significant alterations and sometime after 1929 the shop front was unified and remains as found today.


Circa 2020, the owners of Celandine Hall, sisters Bella Landen and Sophie Hubble, secured a capital grant of £150,000 from the HSHAZ scheme and carried out a renovation of the site before it went on the lease market and was then taken on by The Modern Boulangerie to create a bakery, café, shop and an upstairs area which is now ad-hoc meeting space.

Community events have included training courses, a Ramsgate Day, sonic trail, volunteering drop-ins, St George’s Church parade and a Coronation Day parade, winter lantern parade, heritage talks and Rams Great art work.

Coronation fun in Ramsgate Photo Cemanthe McKenzie

Last month Ramsgate branded signs were installed to create a visual guide for visitors to take them from the train station to the town.

This month the Raven art trail is being installed. Eight fibreglass ravens, designed by youth organisations in Ramsgate, will be placed at point throughout the town as a public art trail.

Council leader Rick Everitt said: “It was a bit different from the big regeneration programmes that primarily focus on buildings. This (HSHAZ) had a building element with the shop fronts but was also about community engagement and events, which have been important. It was quite a diverse programme when you looks at the different pieces of it, from ravens through to works to buildings. It was collaborative with lots of different people working together, including the town council.”

Information boards sharing details of the different projects went on display Friday and can also be viewed for three days next week. The resin ravens are also at the Broad Street property – apart from one which can be spotted at the Madeira Walk fountain. The rest of the ravens are due to be installed in their spots on the art trail on March 15.

A video has also been produced talking to some of those who took part in the projects and this can be watched at the Broad Street base. It will also be transferred to YouTube shortly.

Viewing at 5a Broad Street is open:

  • Monday 11 March, 12pm to 2pm
  • Tuesday 12 March, 5pm to 7pm
  • Thursday 14 March, 9am to 11am

Ramsgate High Street Heritage Action Zone was designated in March 2021 and included Harbour Street and a lower section of the High Street.

The scheme, funded by Historic England, was supported by local partners including the Coastal Community Team and Ramsgate Town Council and focused on helping to regenerate Ramsgate High Street.

Thanet council plans for the former haberdashery shop are to provide workspace for creative industries and a new skills and careers hub.

The haberdashery shop now trades from new premises in King Street.


  1. art ? its getting a bit old hat now . they have forced it on us for a few years and most people realy aint that interested

    • And there it is! The disparaging comment by real world, our uplifting commentator, always keen to knock down anything which is not chimney sweeping, leather dyeing, or dockyard working.

      What a sad specimen.

  2. I can see the headline now ‘shock! Horror! Man forced to look at artwork ‘
    Doesn’t really chime for me.
    Look at it this way,I am prepared to accept that some people just don’t like art, and perhaps you are one of them.But to suggest that most people don’t like art is going too far, because I have seen artworks of all varieties in almost every house or place of work I have visited.Same applies to book. There are some people who do not read and of course there are the minimalists who prefer concrete walls and floors white or grey paint and very few possessions on show.
    When one makes statements of this sort it pays to qualify what you mean.I think what you are really saying is I don’t like art, or art that is presented to me like this, which is a reasonable statement and more accurate.

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