History of Margate

Margate has been a seaside resort for over 260 years, longer than any other in Britain.

In 1736 a local carpenter, Thomas Barber built the first bathing machines. Margate was probably the first resort to become popular amongst all classes.

In 1800, about  20,000 people a year travelled by boat to Margate. In the peak years around 1835, over 100,000 passengers a year came by steamboat to Margate from London. The railways came to Margate in 1848. Shorter holidays started to become  popular with the introduction of statutory Bank Holidays in 1871. As most of these were on a Monday, it enabled many people to have a long weekend by the sea for the first time.

As well as traditional beach activities including Punch & Judy and the Beach Volley Ball championships, Margate boasts the 3rd oldest theatre in the country, the Theatre Royal, the 16th century Tudor House and the 18th century Shell Grotto.

The  modern Turner Contemporary art gallery near the harbour,opened on 16th April 2011. This brings a new cultural aspect to Margate, attracting a large number of visitors to the town thus enhancing the regeneration of the town.