A two-floor flat is to be created in the tower at Augustus Pugin’s personal church in Ramsgate. Spread over two floors, it will have spacious living areas with fantastic sea views. An atmospheric stone spiral staircase leads up to the flat, giving a truly medieval experience of tower living.
There will be an attractive roof terrace on top of the tower, with great potential for summer soirées and cocktail parties. Caution should be taken in windy weather.
The tower is 75ft high, and so has some of the best views available on the Westcliff. Overlooking the English Channel, France can be seen easily on clear days. The Goodwin Sands – with the world’s highest concentration of shipwrecks – are often easy to spot, and there are excellent views of the town of Ramsgate and the Kentish countryside too.
Architects Thomas Ford and Partners will create the flat. It will be made in the same Pugin style as The Grange and St Edward’s Presbytery next door.
It is hoped that the flat will be ready to use at the same time as the brand new Education, Research, and Visitor Centre opens in 2017, along with the restoration of the Chancel and Lady Chapel of the church.
Rector, Fr Marcus Holden, said, “Well, we saw the success of Landmark Trust and their custodianship of Pugin’s home and presbytery next door, and we thought that the tower provided an ideal opportunity for us to do something similar. We’re breaking the mould a bit, because Pugin never actually intended for people to live in this tower, of course.
“A church is often called ‘Domus Dei’ – House of God – because its primary function is worship of God. But, we thought, why not make part of it ‘Domus Populi’ – House of People – too, and make it a bit more domestic?
“Perhaps holidaymakers will invite pilgrims and parishioners up for parties in Pugin’s church tower. We’re especially looking forward to the April Fool’s Day parties.”
Notes to the Editor
Thomas Ford and Partners really are good architects (and are architects to St Augustine’s, as well as having restored The Grange and St Edward’s Presbytery with Landmark Trust)
The church really is being restored, and there will be an Education, Research, and Visitor Centre on the site. This is majority-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.