The Last Days of Thunder Child

The Last Days of Thunder Child
War of the Worlds - spin off adaptation novel.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

The Memory of Reculver's ruined Abbey.

When I was a kid, my Mum and Dad always took my sister and I to Reculver. It is a rather strange place that is eerie because of this ruined abbey or what ever a proper historian would call it. The left tower is right by the cliff edge and I used to look out at the blue sea on the summer days we went here. There is a strange bleakness about the place, as though people of the past have gone and this old ruin is like an echo of what was once here. I find it compelling and spooky at the same time and I have great affection for the place because it brings back some of my earliest childhood memories.

On the other side of the building, in the above picture, each tower has an arched stairway entrance that is locked by rusty old metal doors today. When I was a kid in the sixties the ugly metal doors were not there. I used to go up the winding stone steps with my Dad and there is a landing or battlement that goes from one tower to the other, where the central apex is. The two long arched windows are just above the walkway landing. You could look out of them across the sea and I wondered about the Romans, Saxons or Normans, my Dad spoke of, and they must have looked across the sea from the same spot too. It was like standing in the past and I loved it. Every now and then when I have one of those 'coming up for air' moments I drive across the river and up the A2 for Herne Bay and then to this little place called Reculver. I always seem to be able to touch a memory at this lovely spooky place. It has a compelling sadness because it has bygone times that echo in my memory. Not the Romans, Saxons or Normans who left their signatures here, but my own past and all the kind memories of being a kid and not worrying about anything in the world.

You can smell the sea air and the gulls making their usual noises. I always toy with the idea of moving here, but then I think, I might destroy the comforting nostalgic memory I have of the place. The nice things would become lost on me as one starts to take things too much for granted. I'll just come here to breath the air and think of times past now and then - keep it a special place. 

Carole and I visited the place on the last day of August in 2012. It was a glorious day and we walked around the boundary of the Roman fort that stood here. There was a board showing the layout of the fort and an artist's impression of how it once looked in about 120 AD. Almost half of the fort's area is now reclaimed by the sea, but much of the walls still upon the land are visible. The abbey came about during the latter Dark Ages and then was made more elaborate by the Norman conquerors after 1066 AD.  

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