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Reculver Towers

Written by Bob.
Photo - Bob.

Situated on the North Kent coast between the seaside towns of Birchington and Herne Bay.

Reculver Towers sit on the site of a Roman fort which guarded one end of the Wantsum Channel. This body of water, which has long since silted up, once separated the Isle of Thanet from mainland Kent.

The fort was built in around 210 AD and apparently during archaeological explorations numerous child skeletons were found under the foundations of a former building.

The first religious buildings on the site probably date to 670 AD and were built by a priest known as Bassa after he was given the land by the King of Kent.
View of Reculver Towers

These buildings survived for three hundred years only to be destroyed by the Vikings.

These towers are also known as "The Two Sisters" after two nuns from the Faversham Abbey.
Frances, the Abbess, had just recovered from a serious illness, and accompanied by Isabella, they set off on a pilgrimage, by boat, to the shrine at Broadstairs. Off the coast of Reculver they became grounded on a sand-bank, Isabella died from exposure but Frances survived.
In memory of her sister, Frances had the church restored and had a wooden spire added to each stone tower.

Reculver Towers are what remain of the medieval church of St. Mary's, the bulk of the church was demolished in 1809 and moved to Hillborough when it became threatened by coastal erosion.

The towers were taken over by Trinity House in 1910 as they represented an important navigation aid to shipping, coastal protection work now assures their survival.

Reported paranormal activity includes the sounds of crying children and of galloping horses, there have also been sightings of a woman and of a monk.

Previous paranormal investigations have captured EVPs in both towers.

The shoreline at Reculver was used during WWII to test the famous "Bouncing Bombs" and during the 17th and 18th centuries was a favoured landing spot for smugglers, one such notable incident is recorded below:

Thomas Puryour, a.k.a. Blacktooth, was arrested at Reculver on March 30th, 1747 for being a member of an armed group assembled for the purpose of smuggling. He subsequently appeared at the Old Bailey, was found guilty and executed at Tyburn on November 16th, 1747.

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