Thursday, 11 July 2013

St Mary The Virgin - Reculver

You can find the grounds on Reculver Lane, Reculver, Canterbury, Kent (this is the most popular address however, there seems to be quite a few different locations so if you do plan on going then just follow Google maps). The nearest train station would be Herne Bay, however, it would be much easier to reach it by car.

The present church ground was built in 1878.




This review has to be one of the most random ones that I have ever done. I had never heard of the place let alone had any intention to do a walkabout in it! We were actually on our way to Reculver Castle where my boyfriend was taking me for my birthday. On our way there, we drove down a small country lane. That was when I saw this gorgeous little churchyard. I made a decision then to visit it on our way back. It was a blazing hot day by the time we got back to it. The best thing about this place straight off was the peace and quiet. Based next to a country road and with acres of farmland on the other side, absolute bliss.

From the front entrance you will notice how sparse the site actually is. A lot of the plots actually appear quite new, whether this is because it has started to be fully used or not I do not know. The church stands right in the middle, the main attraction of the site with its bell tower and beautiful stone work. The newest part of the site, I think, is a little plot of war memorial plaques. All the same size and beautifully made. On the outside of the sight, behind a curved wall is even a larger memorial dedicated to those who died in the war. You can only see the writing from the other side however.

The older part seems a tad more extravagant. Many of the graves may be weathered but that does not take away from their beauty. Some of the even older graves are beginning to be hidden away by the shrubbery around it. The older parts are always my favourite, not only because they have more history but the graves themselves tend to have a tad more character than recent ones. What I love about this part was the presence of an old sun dial which has been made so it looks like it is sitting on top of an old church tower.

From what I could gather, the church is one of three parishes (a united benefice) with St Bartholomew in Herne Bay and The Holy Cross in Hoath. The church you can see now was built in 1878. The original was actually at Reculver castle, having been moved to another spot in 1810 then to the spot where it is now. It is safe to say that the church could have possibly had 3 graveyards! The oldest gravestone in this one dates as far back as the 17th century so who knows how old the other ones were. This is something that I would have liked to investigate further.

I already knew before entering the site that I wouldn't have much chance in catching anything. Even though things like these can happen spontaneously (which it has done in the past) I have a bit of a ritual in which I do. I go in and walk around slowly, almost tempting something to follow me. As I walk around I like to talk out loud (hence why I usually do these myself!). Because I never got to do my little routine I knew that there was very little chance that I would catch anything. I did get quite a strange feeling as I was walking around however. The only way I can describe it is, as peaceful as the place was, I felt like it was too good to be true. I cannot describe it anymore than that but I have to admit, it was a bit unsettling.

I only wish that I had knew about this place sooner so that I could have planned a better walkabout and photography session. I had to be quite quick about it so I do not think I gave myself the time I needed as well as the time a place like this deserves. I have a feeling that this place has a lot more history and secrets that it is not letting us on to and I would like to try and find out exactly what they are. The biggest question being, why was it rebuilt so much considering there was no damage to the previous places...

"Respect those who are not physically here, you can’t see them but they can see you, and disrespect is something they don’t want to see"

RATING: 3/5 - Although it may be quite sparse, it in no way ruins its natural beauty.



No comments:

Post a Comment