St Augustine's & Pugin: Shrine & Visitor Centre
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.
A Heritage Lottery funded Visitor Centre was completed in 2017. The Centre tells the many fascinating tales associated with this site, with interactive displays, exhibits, and the opportunity to study in the Research Centre. Works were also undertaken to restore the church to Pugin’s original designs.
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
Church open daily 11.30am-1pm
Visitor Centre open 1-3pm except Friday and Sunday
Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs and Registered Assistance Dogs welcome