Members of The Garrow Society were invited by the Ramsgate Society to officially unveil the Blue Plaque marking for posterity William Garrow’s former home at Pegwell Lodge, Ramsgate, Kent. Bryan Gibson and John Hostettler were present at a lively event which was well attended by the media.
The house itself is of historical and architectural significance because of the way it was built in wood and then covered in brick-like tiles (and if anyone has any particular knowledge of this building process please leave a comment, because it seems like a costly and unnecessary exercise to me!).
Alma Beatty kindly let guests into her house on a freezing early winter’s day to warm up, which meant that they got to see some of the interesting internal features too.
John Hostettler reports finding out this interesting piece of information about Sarah Garrow:
“Lady Garrow took a great interest in St. Lawrence School. Every Sunday it was her habit to invite six pupils from the School to Sunday lunch at the Lodge. However, on their way to the Lodge they had to call in at the village bakehouse and collect the roast, which had been cooking in the oven there!”
Some quotes from the BBC News coverage – more information and photos to follow
‘The criminal law was like the middle ages, people were executed for the smallest of crimes and Garrow changed all that. He went into court and he fought for the rights of the poor people’: John Hostettler, Author.
‘Ramsgate in those days was a well-known place. All the barristers in London and people like that would come down for the sea air’: Jocelyn McCarthy, Ramsgate Society.
People came from as far away as Australia:
‘She came on the tour and afterwards said it was thanks to him that she was here because her ancestor who had been accused of stealing someone’s purse was sentenced to death and William Garrow defended her and it was commuted to transportation for life’: Barbara Byne, Ramsgate Society.
Photos taken by Bryan Gibson and Joy Hostettler.
We do also have some of Richard Braby’s photographs taken a few years ago which do picture the rest of the house.