Pupils and Staff from St Ethelbert’s Catholic Primary School, Ramsgate, were delighted to be the first school group to be shown around the town’s magnificent Church and Shrine of St Augustine as they were treated to a special guided tour this afternoon.

This was the first time I’d visited this incredible example of Pugin Architecture and I was extremely impressed as I accompanied the school group along the historic corridors and through the halls and areas of worship. This place is beautiful. I found myself drawn in by the intricacies of the decor and it was obvious that this building must have been a real labour of love for Augustus Pugin. Sadly, Pugin died in 1852 before completing his masterpiece, but his sons continued the work based on his designs.

After a very informative introduction to the history of the church we left the modern Reception and Education Centre and headed into the main Church. The students were clearly taken aback by what they were saw. Each corner turned provided yet more impressive examples of Pugin’s designs and I looked on as excited children pointed and gasped in wonder at what they were experiencing.

As we walked around the church, it was evident the young students were clearly engaged with the tour. As questions were asked of them, hands were enthusiastically shooting in the air as they were keen to impress Father Simon with their knowledge of the site’s history.

The tour ended back in the visitor and education centre and, as the children prepared to leave, I had the chance to speak with Father Simon and members of the church staff. They explained that they are all looking forward to having other local schools visit the Church and take the guided tour. From what I saw today, I think these guided tours will be very popular and successful.

If any schools would like to book a tour, they can do so by contacting the visitor centre onĀ 01843 606756 or by emailingĀ [email protected]

I would like to thank everyone involved today for letting me join their tour of this fantastic building. Please enjoy our gallery of the tour and feel free to share this article with anyone who may be interested.