Friday, 17 February 2012

The sea defence diaries 17/02/12 - Terracotta

For as many years as I can remember there have been lumps of Terracotta found out side the Margate harbour wall from opposite where the Turner Center stands today along the back wall of the harbour, through to the square head an onto the main sands. Each piece having some form of a visible marking and obviously from a fine building but the problem is which one?
I suppose the nearest similar building standing today in Thanet of that stylehas to be the Custom House in Ramsgate home of Ramsgate Town Council. So where in Margate did these pieces come from ?
At present I have no idea, but I am looking at three options. First there is the Marine Palace that stood on the Rendevous car park site and that was destroyed in the storm of 29th November 1897. Then there is the Hotel Metropole that stood where the Turner Center is today. The Hotel sustained terrible damage in the same storm. However, the Hotel was demolished in 1938 so could some of the demolition rubble ended up in the sea. Then there are the buildings that stood on the Stone Pier that were swept away in the 1953 storm. So as it stands there are many options and some research to do.
Today I came across three pieces, two as a result of the sea defence works and the other from the erosion that is taking place off the main sands. The photograph above is a piece I found just off the main sands of which I have taken home. The two photographs below were taken around the square head of the stone pier and where left as found. The photograph of the piece on the right has clear markings that is at present unidentifiable.

1 comment:

Tony Beachcomber said...

Mystery solved, I have booked all the recently found items into the Margate museum today for a flotsam and jetsam display. The consensus with all the local historians is that the pieces are from the Hotel Metropole demolished in the 1930's.