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NORTH KENT COAST - Margate to Whitsbury

This may come first in our upstream voyage - but of course the North coast of Kent is the land's last accompaniment to the waters of the Thames as they merge into the North Sea.
Kingsgate is really round the corner at the North Foreland.


Live tide graph for Margate
For an online live view of the tide in the estuary see the barrier page
And to the North of Margate on the other side of the estuary is Walton on the Naze
Live tide graph for Walton
And between the two are the Thames Estuary Forts
There is a Live tide graph for Shivering Sands.

83 Frith photos of Margate.



Site of Reculver Church Towers

Reculver Towers
Reculver Towers

Reculver, Site of Roman Fort

Reculver Roman Fort
Reculver Roman Fort, plan made in 1923

669: First Reculver Church. An early Christian chantry was established here by St Augustine's pilgrims from Rome.
12th century: The second Reculver Church, being the building now demolished with the two towers still standing, was erected and incorporated Saxon remains from the first church.


1530s: Leland -

a quarter of a mile or a little more divides Reculver from the sea to the north of it
1600: Plan shows the distance as 180 yards
1650s: Somner says the church is endangered

In the 15th Century there were two well-connected sisters, one of whom was the Abbess of Faversham. One of the sisters fell ill and when she recovered, the two of them decided to go and give their thanks at the shrine of St. Mary, Bradstowe (or Broadstairs). They sailed from Faversham but off Reculver were hit by a storm which wrecked their ship. Both sisters were saved but one of the two died as the results of exposure. The remaining sister then added two spires to the existing towers and they were thereafter known as the "twin sisters".

-1708: Battely says that in his lifetime the waves were devastating the north face of the fort.
1799: Reculver Church in 1799 -

Reculver Church 1799
Reculver Church in 1799

1807 & 1858: Kent Archaeological Society Visual Records
1808: Reculver Towers, in 'The Antiquarian and Topographical Cabinet'-

The village of Reculver is situated on the sea coast of the county of Kent, about nine miles south east from Margate, and thirteen miles north west from Canterbury; and notwithstanding its present solitary appearance, was formerly of considerable note.
In the time of our Saxon ancestors it was called Reculfcestre, and a thousand years has only softened the name, the present inhahitants pronouncing it Reculver.
The Romans, who had here a station, gave it the name of Regulhium; and it was a situation of great importance to them, when the sea formed a large harbour between the county of Kent and Isle of Thanet, in which their fleets rode in safety, protected at one entrance by the castle of Richborough and at the other by that of Reculver, both being indifferently styled Rutopi.
Within the memory of man the waves have done more mischief here than in several preceding centuries; for, till lately, many houses and a small field stood beyond the churchyard; now all are swept away. The storm and high tide of the 15th January 1805, experienced so severely along the adjacent coast, fell with redoubled fury on Reculver, and carried away part of the churchyard wall, within a few feet of the Church.

Reculver Towers, 1808
Reculver Towers, 1808

Reculver Church
Reculver Church

1809: Body of church demolished, but the towers with spires were retained as a navigational aid and maintained by Trinity House.
The third Reculver Church was built a mile inland.
1823: The Reculvers in "Voyage Round Great Britain" by William Daniell -

Reculver Towers, 1823
The Reculvers in "Voyage Round Great Britain" by William Daniell
Drawn & Engraved by Willm. Daniell. Published by W. Daniell, Cleveland Street, Fitzroy Square, London. Augst. 1 1823

1878: A fourth Reculver Church was built on the site of the third [ That would be the one a mile inland] .
1892: Reculver Towers, Francis Frith -

Reculver Towers, Francis Frith, 1892
Reculver Towers, Francis Frith, 1892

1915: The remains of the second Reculver Church -

Reculver Church 1915
Reculver Church 1915

1945: Reculver marks the eastern end of the 3Km course over which the world speed record was set at more than 606mph in a Gloster Jet propelled Meteor plane.
1955: Reculver Towers, Francis Frith -

Reculver Towers, Francis Frith, 1955
Reculver Towers, Francis Frith, 1955

The modern Reculver Church: [Fourth, a mile inland] - moving panorama

Reculver Church
St Mary's, Reculver

Herne Bay

54 Francis Frith photos of Herne Bay


10 Francis Frith photos of Swalecliffe - Seaview Holiday Camp


21 Francis Frith photos of Whitstable
1892: The Thames Sailing Barge GRETA, based in Whitstable, available for day trips etc.
Length 80ft, beam 20ft, draft 3ft, 49 tons net.
A Dunkirk Ship. (Took part in the evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940)

Thames Sailing Barge Greta, 1892