Pugin and St Augustine: Visitor Centre and Shrine

Saturday 3rd June sees the opening of the new ‘Pugin and St Augustine Visitor Centre and Shrine’, with the Archbishop of Southwark Peter Smith .

This new education, research, and visitor centre, aiming to increase knowledge and accessibility around two themes: the Victorian architect Augustus Pugin, and St Augustine of England, who brought Christianity to southern England for the first time. 

A fascinating and dramatic place, St Augustine’s is the personal project of the renowned architect Augustus Pugin, most famous for designing “Big Ben,” and his other work on the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, in the mid nineteenth century. He said that this building was the perfect model of his ‘true principles’ of architecture and called it “my own child.” A leader of the Gothic Revival, St Augustine’s was the only church Pugin built with his own money, and so unencumbered by the demands of patrons. Pugin died in 1852, in his house (The Grange) next door, and is buried in the church, beneath an effigy designed by his eldest son, Edward.

The church is also the shrine of St Augustine of England. Arriving on the shores of Thanet in AD 597 – at Ebbsfleet, very close to Ramsgate – St Augustine had the mission to bring Christianity to the English for the first time. He was successful and his legacy is still with us today throughout art, culture, legal systems, music, and more. The shrine houses a relic of St Augustine’s bone. This is a working Catholic church with services every day, to which all are welcome.

Free entry with a suggested £4 donation

Opening Times

Open daily 10am - 4pm

Facilities

  • Guided tours
  • Groups welcome
  • Coaches welcome
  • Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs and Registered Assistance Dogs welcome
  • Gift shop