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Royal Harbour, Ramsgate
Ramsgate
associated engineer
William Etheridge
John Smeaton
date  1750 - 1792
era  Georgian  |  category  Harbour  |  reference  TR383646
ICE reference number  HEW 484
A 46 acre harbour area, now enclosed within the modern breakwaters of Port Ramsgate, the cross-channel ferry terminal.
The original design was by William Etheridge and followed an Act of Parliament in 1749. However, the works ran into difficulty and in 1774 John Smeaton was called in. He remained engineer in charge until his death in 1792.
The western breakwater measures 520yd and the eastern one 625yd, the latter being 112yd longer than originally planned. This extension was made to change the direction of the 70yd harbour entrance from south-south-west to south-south-east, lessening wave disturbance in the enclosure.
The breakwaters are founded on chalk and stand to 12ft 6in above high-water level. They are made from a mixture of chalk, gravel and lime mortar, and faced largely with Portland stone. The copings are granite. A 3ft 6in parapet wall runs along the top of each breakwater.
Accumulation of sediment in the harbour was the main problem encountered during construction. Smeaton solved this by designing an inner basin with a lock entrance. Six sluices incorporated in this system successfully flush the harbour at low tide.
The inner harbour, which also contained a dry dock, is now a yacht marina. Fishing vessels moor in the outer harbour.
Construction (breakwaters): Thomas Preston
reference sources   LG/SJ
Location

Royal Harbour, Ramsgate