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  • Writer's pictureMary Smith

A Piece of Broadstairs History

York Gate, Harbour Street, Broadstairs, 1937

In these most peculiar times, when holiday-makers are being asked to stay away from the seaside to keep safe, we hope that you will enjoy these posts about our lovely town.  Broadstairs and its neighbours have so much to offer and we love sharing images for you to enjoy.  

Etching, depicting late 18th century York Gate

The history of York Gate is a reflection of Broadstairs history itself, going back all the way to the 15th Century when one George Culmer built an arch over the dirt track that lead down to the fishing harbour. Naturally the town back then was merely a small fishing village known as Bradstowe, and this track would have been well-used by the many boatmen and shipwrights working out of the little harbour.  The Culmers, a well-known land-owning family, continued to play an important role in the development of Broadstairs down the centuries. What we know now as the Culmers' Allotments, just up the way from York Gate, were originally bestowed to the poor of the parish to grow food on in the 1700's.

York Gate, late 1800's

In 1540, the Culmers funded and built a sturdier stone version of the York Gate, incorporating two heavy wooden doors that could be closed to defend against storm tides. We can recognise the pointed arch structure, with grooves for the portcullis to this day. In previous centuries the gate went on to offer protection against smugglers and also enemy seafarers during the French Revolution. These days we are not so vulnerable to such threats but the arch continues to feel like an entrance to the town from the harbour.

York Gate in The Lady in the Van, 2015. Image: BBC Films

We look forward to welcoming you to Broadstairs soon, please do make enquiries about Broadstairs Apartments' future availability. Our luxury apartments offer a fantastic way to spend some quality time here on the Isle of Thanet. All of our apartments are fully services and styled to the highest of standards. See you soon!

York Gate sign, Harbour Street Broadstairs. Image: Nick Harrison via Flickr

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