Reculver Abbey, Kent

Benedictine Monks

Reculver began life as one of the Roman "Forts of the Saxon Shore" (see Reculver in the Castles pages). King Egbert gave the site, high on its blustery and remote cliff top, to the Benedictine Order who founded an Abbey here in 669.  The two great towers were added in the 12th Century, but otherwise the 7th Century Church stood here unmolested until 1809. Even the Dissolution didn't destroy the building, only the Abbey's monastic buildings were abandoned at the time, the Church itself merely passed into parochial use.

In 1809 the Church was demolished because it was believed that sacriligeous acts were being carried out here. An unbelievable act which robbed Kent of one of its most ancient buildings. The twin towers only survived because Trinity House insisted they should remain as an aid to shipping.

The site of Reculver is owned by English Heritage, but unfortunately the surrounding land has been turned into a none-too-attractive caravan park.

Still on a windy day (and at Reculver most days are windy) this is a place with some magic still.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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