Local Treasures: Bleak House, Broadstairs

During the summer of 2015, I had the pleasure of ending the boredom that is usually attributed to the unemployed and single, and was able to land myself a job in a curious little hotel called Bleak House. Initially, I didn’t know what to expect. My initial roles consisted of serving various guests and being a waiter were… understandable. But it was only during the second shift that I learned of the rich history behind Bleak House.

bleak-house

One of the many services that were provided in the hotel were giving tours of the underground tunnels that were hidden in the depths of Bleak House. I learned during my shift that not only did smugglers run routes through Broadstairs, Ramsgate, and Dover during the 18th century, but artifacts had been found in an eighteenth century wreck and recovered, and the ship was never to be seen again. Bleak House provides a museum of all these relics available to the public eye!

But, there’s another reason why Bleak House is a Local Treasure. Because writer and philanthropist Charles Dickens graced the halls of Bleak House every summer for 22 years. (1837-1859) Originally, the house had been called ‘Fort House,’ but after Dickens’ death in 1870, had been renamed in his honour, as he wrote his novel Bleak House upon the inspiration of his summer residence. One of the enticing features of Bleak House is that Dickens’ study has been preserved, and available to the public eyes for a small price.

charles_dickens_study_at_bleak_house_in_broadstairs

Working at Bleak House was a remarkable experience, giving me the opportunity to trace Charles Dickens’ footsteps, and be where he had been. One of the closest local treasures I’ve had the experience in being a part of, and I’d happily work there again.

Stay tuned for my review of Asimov’s short story The Last Question tomorrow!

Until next time,

Ben

 

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