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The History of Kent

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History of Westgate-on-Sea

Westgate-on-Sea comes from the Old English ‘geat’ meaning ‘gate, gap’. The prefix ‘west’ distinguishes it from the other the adjacent Margate. The railways added the suffix ‘on-sea’.


Before the 1860s, Westgate consisted of only a farm, a coastguard station and a few cottages for the crew. During the late 1860's, businessmen developed the area into a seaside resort for the middle-classes. They constructed a stretch of the sea wall, with a promenade on top, around the beaches at St Mildred's Bay and West Bay,

Westgate-on-Sea parish church is a Grade: II listed building, dedicated to Saint Saviour. Charles Nightingale Beazley built the church in 1884. In 1873, Beazley built St James, which became Garlinge parish church when the boundaries changed in 1885. Gillett & Co cast and hung a bell in 1884. In 1975, Whitechapel tuned five bells transferred from Holy Cross, Canterbury, and hung them with a new treble, to make six. The Archdeacon of Canterbury dedicated them in July that year.


Westgate-on-Sea railway station opened, on the London Chatham and Dover Railway’s Herne Bay to Ramsgate section on the North Kent Coast route to Thanet, in April 1871…. More