Just behind Margate Old Town sits one of the oldest parts of Margate.
The Tudor House, resplendent in her stripy jacket, has seen a lot over the years. Starting life as a home for a nobleman (there are many clues that suggest the house was built for somebody of high status) and possibly housing a King on his travels at one point, the Tudor House has been used as a farmyard and was even split up into three individual cottages in the late 19th century.
It was purchased by the council in the 1930s in a drive to clear the slums but luckily the historical importance of the house was recognised after WWII and instead of being demolished, the house was lovingly restored to her original form.
And for the small price of £1.50, you can explore these ancient rooms for yourself!
Inside, the house itself is rather bare with just a few decorations here and there. Yet this just draws the eye towards the architecture of the house itself, the wooden beams cutting across walls and ceilings and the interesting little details such as plaster-work and fireplaces.
One of the clues to the house's wealthy history is the existence of not one, but two chimneys. Back in Tudor times, one chimney would have been a pretty big deal so the fact that there are two suggests that the original owner of the house was doing rather well for himself.
(Daylight seeping in through the cracks, eek!)
Another clue is the existence of so many windows from a time period in which glass was incredibly expensive. I am sure that you have also seen the many bricked up windows from period properties around England, due to the window tax that saw many homes rid themselves of unnecessary and expensive windows. Not only does the Tudor House have so many, it also has these interesting stained glass crests that suggest the house was visited by a King at some point.
(This last little nugget of information was imparted to me by a volunteer dressed up as a Tudor. We were treated to a fair few of these on the day, including one rather imposing chap dressed as Henry VIII and another who played Tudor tunes on a keyboard set to the harpsichord setting - although he promptly changed to "Besides the Seaside" as soon as we entered the room!)
The gardens are a beautiful and calm little corner, preserved in the middle of a busy and built up town. Originally, the land of the house would have extended much further, all the way to the coast and up to the Winter Gardens so its nice to see that at least part of it has been retained. A creek also flowed down King St, passing just in front of the house on its way to the sea.
The house is run by a dedicated team of volunteers - next time you're in Margate, go along and show them your support!