Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.


Earliest 1904-

Endcliffe Hotel

May 2005

First Avenue


Endcliffe Hotel 1904

Above postcard, 1904, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.

Endcliffe Hotel

Above postcard, date unknown, kindly sent by Debi Birkin.

Endcliffe Hotel fire 2005

The scene at the height of the fire 2005. Picture: KARINA HODDER.


From the 06 May 2005

Boys quizzed after blaze rips through historic hotel.

INVESTIGATIONS are continuing into a huge fire that destroyed a former seaside hotel.

Hundreds of people watched as almost 100 firefighters from across East Kent tackled the blaze at the former Endcliffe Hotel, at Cliftonville, near Margate, on Wednesday night.

A police spokesman said: "Detectives are treating the fire as suspicious and are continuing their enquiries. Two 15-year-old boys have been arrested on suspicion of arson and are assisting officers with their enquiries."

The building, a well-known landmark in Thanet since 1899, was rapidly engulfed by flames. Smoke billowed hundreds of feet into the night sky.

The fire broke out just after 6pm and fire crews were at the site late into the night.

Roads around the clifftop site were closed as hundreds of spectators gathered on grass by the Oval bandstand opposite as the derelict five-storey Victorian structure on the corner of First Avenue and Lewis Crescent crumbled. Many observers were taking photographs of the devastation with their mobile telephone cameras.

Elderly people from the neighbouring Grosvenor Court residential home were led to safety as the flames took hold. Neighbours in flats in Lewis Crescent were also evacuated.

Some of the onlookers were in tears as the Endcliffe fell prey to the flames. The heat was so extreme that it could be felt more than 100ft away.

One former staff member said: "It is a tragedy that such a beautiful building has ended like this. I cannot believe it is disappearing in front of my eyes.

"It was a former hotel but was converted to a residential home although it has been empty for years. It used to have nearly 100 elderly residents, and we had some lovely times there.

"My memories of it are as a happy place where the residents enjoyed their twilight years. At one stage it had glorious chandeliers and beautiful wood panelling."

More than a dozen fire appliances were lined up along Eastern Esplanade as crews fought the flames from both frontages and at the rear.

High rise hydraulic ladders hoisted pumpmen into the sky to play jets of water down into the smoke and flames, as chimneys and internal walls came crashing down with a loud crack.

The distinctive green topped dome on a corner tower overlooking Walpole Bay was lit from within as flames leapt from windows beneath - it eventually tilted, toppled and fell.

Margate Winter Gardens in nearby Fort Crescent was used as an emergency centre for evacuees, as fire and police assessed the damage.

The end for one of Cliftonville's former premier hotels came at a time when another popular hotel block that was once run by Butlins is rebuilt. The "Grand Hotel" has been demolished and the "Norfolk" is being knocked down. Both are being converted into retirement apartments by McCarthy and Stone.

Fire and police experts worked through the evening to control and damp down the wreckage at the Endcliffe Hotel. A cause is not yet known and an investigation is under way.




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