Reculver Towers

Catherine Hamilton-Veal  ©

Dawlish, United Kingdom

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Reculver Towers Kent
Reculver Towers is all that remains of a monastery first built in 669AD, the permission to build this was granted by King Egbert, and stood for nearly 300 years before The Vikings almost destroyed it. The church as long since gone but a outline of the building is marked out on the site today of where it once stood, the only surviving part of the church which were two columns were moved to a crypt in Canterbury Cathedral.

The Towers which stand today are the remains of the medieval church of St Mary’s. The Tide has been slowly corroding the cliffs and the risk was thought so great that the rest of the church was demolished and moved to Hillsborough in 1809. It was sanctioned by Reverend Nailor partly due to the fact that he wanted a new vicarage to be built in Hoath. Records show that alot of the church ended up being used a hardcore for the foundations of Margate pier. A pair of pillars were saved and now stand on a Canterbury Cathederal crypt along side a celtic cross.

In 1970 major strenghening construction of the towers were carried out to stem the collapse. The towers are known s the Two Sisters after Frances and Isabela St Calre who were members of the Faversham Abbey. Francess become ill and vowed if she recovered she would take a pilgrimage to a shrine at St Mary’s at Bradstowe. This she did with her sister, they set off by boat, but when off Reculver their boat was driven into a sandback Francess was rescued but Isabella who stayed aboard till light, died of exposure once she was ashore. Frances did continue her trip, but restored the church in Isabellas memory, and had two spires placed on each tower, hence The Two Sisters. The spires were removed at a later dte in about 1880.

The towers act as a landmark for shipping, having been saved by Trinity House. The North Sea and the North Wind have continued to prove a real challenge for shipping particular in the days when many things were done by sea, and many boats and ships have been wrecked and many lives have been lost.

The Towers are said to be very haunted and a most eerie place to be even in daylight, hooded figures have been seen, strange cries have been heard, and the towers are said to have a sinister feeling about them, also babies skeletal remains have been found which date back to the Roman time, believed to have been killed for ritualistic meaning.
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Artwork Comments

  • Catherine Hamilton-Veal  ©
  • Tom Gomez
  • Catherine Hamilton-Veal  ©
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  • Kate Purdy
  • Catherine Hamilton-Veal  ©
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