Nestled in the heart of Margate’s Old Town, our beautiful double fronted store had many a story of its own to tell before we started our journey together on the 1st of June, 2017. It is located on the historical King Street leading from Dane Park to Margate harbour and home to the Tudor House, flint fronted homes and a growing number of fantastic independent shops and restaurants. Across the road from our new home at number 34, stands a grand Georgian Town House marked by a blue plaque inscribed with the words; ‘FRANCIS “KING” COBB, 1726-1802 BANKER & BREWER “KING OF MARGATE” LIVED HERE.’ During this time Cobb owned a large part of King Street, buying up the buildings to house his brewery and all the essentials needed by an 18th Century gentleman including his personal hatter, tailor, stables and even his own bank (now a community space and art gallery).
2 of the former shop fronts (left) and our newly decorated shop front back in 2017 (right) Images via margatelocalhistory and Flickr.
The first registered shop at Number 34, King Street was a bicycle boutique opened by J.G.Jebb at the turn of the 20th century, a mosaic at the entrance way to the store still bears his name. In the 1960’s the premises became a fishing tackle shop, aptly named “Kingfisheries”. In the 1990’s a second floor was built onto the premises after a fire destroyed the original upper floor extension in the 1970's. On first encounter with this calm, bright, upstairs space we thought how great it would be for exhibitions and events. Deciding to name it the ‘Kingfisher Room’ as a nod to its previous life, this space became our community venue above the Artisans & Adventurers store for a while, hosting art exhibitions, yoga classes by our friends at Margate Pilates Studio, talks and events. Now, the upstairs houses our offices for our ever-growing team! It is here that we pack online orders, reply to customer enquiries, design new products and plan our next adventures.
Image via @charlottejacklin on Instagram
On visiting the shop for the first time we were immediately taken by the green and gold tiled exterior and colourful stained glass windows. Inside, aged wooden beams that once propped up the Kings Steps that led down to the sea from Margate harbor, rise sentinel from floor to ceiling. Continuing the maritime theme a tall ships mast stands proud in the back right corner of the shop. When restoring the premises we wanted to enhance all of these features, so we spent hours stripping back and varnishing floorboards, giving fresh coats of paint to peeling bricks and colouring new life into woodwork in a sympathetic palette of greens.
Thank you for being part of our adventure!