Sort file:- Margate, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.


Earliest ????

(Name from)

Fort Road Hotel

Latest 1991

Fort Road


Fort Road Hotel

Above postcard, date unknown. Proprietors Mr. & Mrs. Ward. Phone 1197.

Fort Road Hotel

All photos date unknown.

Fort Road Hotel Fort Road Hotel


The census of 1911 referred to this as a "Private Hotel" run by John and Elizabeth Marsh.




Please don't demolish the historic seafront Fort Road Hotel in Margate and replace with social housing flats. Please continue to pursue your previous stated aim of seeking to restore the building as a hotel.

Why is it important?

It's important because according to your own report in 2011:

'The Fort Road Hotel (previously the Fort Castle Public House) is one of the last surviving buildings in the area today that the artist JMW Turner would recognise. Turner spent fifteen years ‘weekending’ in Margate with Sophia Booth (whose house was opposite) and, as a noted drinker, it seems inconceivable that he did not visit the establishment.

The hotel also benefits from a fantastic position, facing the sea, overlooking (and overlooked by) the gallery. The two buildings share the same privileged view of Margate’s sunsets, that Turner declared “the loveliest in Europe”. These associations with Turner (historically with the artist and now with the gallery) give the Fort Road Hotel potentially iconic status.

Furthermore, the building is well situated on the main coastal route in and out of Margate, within close proximity of the harbour area; the Old Town; and Margate High Street.'

The hotel is in a prime seafront location. It's one of Margate's oldest historic hotel buildings. This building restored as a hotel will create badly needed jobs in a deprived area and be a place to be proud of with a great history for visitors to enjoy.


From 18 March 2011


THE derelict Fort Road Hotel in Margate could become a boutique hotel or be torn down under plans revealed by Thanet council.

The authority's Conservative cabinet agreed on Thursday to try to find private enterprise interested in redeveloping the hotel, which overlooks the Turner Contemporary gallery, and which would have stood in the town when the artist JMW Turner visited.

Iconic Margate building could be demolished if council fails to find buyer.

The building has lain derelict for 20 years was bought by the council through compulsory purchase in December 2010.

Since purchasing it the council has carried out urgent work to the front wall of the building, which was in danger of collapse. Major repair work still needs to be done. The council says a structural survey, carried out on its behalf has suggested that, because there is so much to do, demolition is one option.

Over the next six months, the council will try to interest business to redevelop it as a small hotel and a restaurant.

Cabinet members were told that there had already been interest from people interested in buying the property, one is the owner of a five-star boutique hotel in Kent.

The aim will be to complete work on the site by September 2012.

If there is no interest in the Fort Road Hotel within the next six months, then an application for consent to demolish the building will be made to the Secretary of State.

Director of Community Services, Madeline Homer, said: "Despite its appearance today and its condition over recent years, the "Fort Road Hotel" is a property full of history. It's one of the few buildings surrounding the gallery that Turner would recognise from his era. For that reason, it's vital that the council does what it can to find a new use for this building, which we now own. Of course, we can't wait forever, with an eyesore looming over Turner Contemporary, so that's why we've set a deadline for a viable scheme to come forward. We're hopeful, with the interest that's already been shown, and the wonderful location of the "Fort Road Hotel," that there is a future for this building within that deadline."

There are plans for a nine metre high neon sign reading ICONIC SITE on the building to improve its appearance ahead of the opening of Turner Contemporary next month.

Thanet council has been asked to approve plans for the sign, to be attached to the top of the scaffolding.

The sign would cost 5000 and be on display for six months.

Designed by the artistic collaboration Sans Facon, French for No Way, the sign has already appeared on buildings in Liverpool, Newcastle and Manchester.

During the day the sign will not be lit.

Fort Road Hotel sign

From 12 January 2012


The Fort Road Hotel has become an eyesore for the town over the last 20 years. Thanet council has taken further measures which it hopes will make its revival a reality.

Plansto restore one of Margate's most prominent seafront buildings have taken a turn for the better after the council agreed to issue a compulsory purchase order (CPO).

The Fort Road Hotel, which overlooks the Turner Contemporary Gallery, has been derelict for 20 years.

In December 2010 the council bought the property in the hope to attract some new developers for the landmark site, one of the few remaining buildings that survive from Turner's time spent in the seaside town.

They hoped it would become a small hotel and restaurant with 10-20 rooms.

A formal advert was published in October 2011 and, as a result, 30 application packs were sent out, but none were returned to the council.

The developers said one of the main reasons for not developing the hotel was the lack of parking next to the building.

As a result, council leaders have agreed that, subject to a valuation and available funds, the council would serve a compulsory purchase order on land at the rear of the hotel, which could then be used for the purpose.

Cllr. Iris Johnston, cabinet member for community services, said: “Every effort was made to encourage the previous owner to make good the building and surrounding areas to no avail. We now need to go ahead with the additional Compulsory Purchase Order on the nearby land. Hopefully with that land secured, we can then get the "Fort Road Hotel" back into use for the benefit of Thanet.”

Fort Road Hotel sign

Last year the building had a large neon sign placed on its roof as part of an art project to coincide with the opening of the new Turner gallery.

The council is also exploring another option for the site and is holding discussions with the Spitalfields Trust, a charity which rescues derelict historic buildings and sells them on for beneficial use.


From the 2 April 2015.

Council to decide fate of former Fort Road Hotel.

Fort Road Hotel

An earlier design for Fort Road Hotel.

THANET council Cabinet members will decide tonight whether to approve plans to demolish the former "Fort Road Hill Hotel" for use as social housing.

The 18th century site is considered to have significant historical links to JMW Turner who would have very likely frequented the building during its life as a pub called the "Fort Castle."

The meeting agenda published on Thanet council's website states: "The Fort Road Hotel, Margate has been empty and derelict for a number of years. As a result the property was subject to a compulsory purchase order made on May 28, 2010.

"The council has considered a number of options for the property and has undertaken requests for development proposals through an expression of interest process on a couple of occasions, the latest being in 2014.


Thanet council move forward with plans to demolish former Fort Road Hotel

POLL: Should Thanet council demolish the former Fort Road Hotel?

"The expressions of interest have been unable to identify a suitable development proposal and in order to progress bringing this property back into use it is proposed it is now used for housing purposes."

But a freedom of information request made by businesswoman Louise Oldfield revealed exciting plans submitted by Turner Contemporary fell through because the council refused to sell the freehold, preferring to offer a long lease to "prevent land prevent any residential use."

A campaign and petition to save the iconic site has generated public support. Today it was revealed on Ms Oldfield's blog that Pollock's Toy Museum Trust have expressed an interest to house their collection of traditional toys as a visitor attraction.

A petition has been launched in a bid to save the building.

There are currently 837 signatures.

The council meeting will be held in Cecil Square, Margate at 7pm.



WARD Mr & Mrs ????

MARSH John & Elizabeth 1911+ (age 64 & 56 in 1911Census)




If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-