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Bleak House (formally Fort House) is one of the most prominent buildings in Broadstairs and can be seen here in the background behind the Tartar Frigate public house. Fort House was built in 1801 as a residence for the captain of the Fort which stood (part of it still stands) in front of the house. A later owner renamed it "Bleak House" as he claimed it to be the house in the novel, this is a fallacy as the one in the novel was located in Hertfordshire.
The Tartar Frigate takes it's name from the HMS Tartar, a naval ship built locally. In the 1860s it became the haunt of solders, fishermen and smugglers. However at the time the main smugglers rendezvous was the "Five Tons" located in Union Square, these old inns must have witness many wild nights in the days before licensing hours.
At the junction of Albion and harbour street you will find the Dolphin inn, This public house dates back to the 16th century and is today the main venue for live music in the town, and has recently had a large extension and second bar added.
In Dickens' time it was known as "ballards Hotel" after it's owner, a great friend of the novelist. The hotel is now owned by the Roger Family who are descended from Lewis Marchesi, master baker who settled of Broadstairs in 1884.
Moving on towards Ramsgate we come across the Jubilee Clock Tower (not shown) this was built in 1897 for Queen Victoria's jubilee. In 1949 a copper Viking ship weather-vane was made for the clock tower by C Hodson of the Reading Street garage to commemorate the landing of the viking ship Hugin at Broadstairs in that same year. In 1975 the tower was burnt down due to a electrical fault, but was rebuilt by apprentices at Thanet Technical Collage to commemorate Queen Elizebeth II's Silver Jubilee.
Crossing the bridge over Louisa Gap and passing the old grand hotel (now the Grand Mansions) which was built in 1882 for Mr John Butterfield you can enjoy a plesent walk along the cliff top to Dumpton Gap, along the way in the hours of darkness it is possible to see the lights from the lightships that mark the Goodwin sands, you will arrive at king George VI memorial park. The 13 acres of ground that go to make up this park were first purchased by Benjermin Bond Hopkins for the purpose of building himself a country seat.
In Roman times the land that the lighthouse now stands on was called Cantium, this was the old name given to Kent by the explorer Ptolemy about the year 150AD. There has been a light on Kent's most easterly point since 1505. During the great sea battle against the Dutch in 1666 an observation post was setup on top of the lighthouse. In 1683 the original wooden structure burnt down and in 1691 a new lighthouse was built from which the present building dates.
In 1790 the original coal-fired light was replaced by a patent oil lamp with reflectors and a magnifying lens. In 1931 the light was converted to electricity and is equal to 175,000 candle-power from a 3.5 Kw 240v lamp. The light is recognised by a group flash 5 times every 20 seconds and is visible up to 20 miles away.