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"RECULVER, a parish in the hundred of Bleangate, lathe of St. Augustine, county Kent, 3 miles E. of Herne Bay, its post town, and 10 N.E. of Canterbury. The village, which is of small extent, is situated on the banks of the Thames, and was formerly a market town. In Leland's day it was more than half a mile from the shore, but is now in danger of being washed away by the continued encroachment of the sea. It is supposed to be the Regulbium of the Romans, who placed here the first cohort of the Setasii. It was named by the Saxons Raculf-ceaster, or minster, and had a palace of the Saxon kings of Kent, who founded here, in the 7th century, the Benedictine abbey, which was subsequently annexed by King Edred to Christ Church in Canterbury. There are traces of the Roman castle which, when in its perfect state, measured 594 feet by 570, and in the vicinity of which numerous Roman and Saxon coins and other relics have been found. A submarine forest is clearly distinguishable under the cliffs. The appropriate tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £575, and the vicarial for one of £128. The living is a vicarage with the curacy of Hoath annexed, in the diocese of Canterbury, value £198, in the patronage of the archbishop. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, was erected in 1812 at the hamlet of Hillborough, about a mile distant from the old parish church, of which little more now remains than the two towers of the W. end, called the "Reculvers." These are now the property of the corporation of the Trinity House, by whom they have been repaired as landmarks for mariners. Attached to the church were anciently two chantries; and there is an old brass of the time of Edward IV., besides several tombs, including that of the Saxon King Ethelbert I."

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2010]


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