The artifacts from the wreck of HMS Stirling Castle are some of the most interesting items in the Museum. The Stirling Castle ran aground and was wrecked in the Great Storm of Saturday 27th November 1703. More details here.

For many years the site of the wreck and the artifacts were owned by the Isle of Thanet Archaeological Society, but the Society is in the process of winding down its activities and has recently transferred the ownership of both the wreck site and the artifacts to the National Museum for the Royal Navy (NMRN) which seems entirely appropriate because HMS Stirling Castle was a Royal Navy ship.

As many of our readers will know, the Clock House was awarded a grant as part of the Levelling Up Fund for Ramsgate and the Society is currently working in partnership with Thanet District Council on a project to renovate the existing Grade 2* Listed Building, build a new extension on the rear, and to open a new Ramsgate Heritage Centre which will tell the story of Ramsgate’s Maritime history for both residents and visitors.

The project is in its early stages and is quite complicated, and recent staff changes at TDC have caused delays in getting the project on site, but a lot of preliminary work is being done and we still hope to open the new Heritage Centre in the Spring/Summer of 2025. In the meantime, we need somewhere to store the museum collection whilst the work to the building is being carried out and this is where the Royal Navy came to the rescue by offering to remove the Stirling Castle artifacts to the National Museum for the Royal Navy in Portsmouth and to return them to Ramsgate once the building works have been completed.

On Monday 11th July two highly experienced conservators from the NMRM visited the Clock House and started the detailed work of cataloguing the Stirling Castle items and undertaking an initial condition survey so that those items that require attention can be worked on by the conservators before being returned to Ramsgate in 2025. The transfer to Portsmouth will take place later in the week.

We will keep you updated from time to time via the Newsletter as the project progresses.

John Walker