Days Out

The History of Kent’s Reculver Towers and Its Modern Day Influences

Reculver Towers and Roman Fort” (CC BY 2.0) by Island Way Photography

The historic county of Kent remains a popular destination for visitors both within the UK and from abroad. However, what makes Kent such a popular attraction for many is its incredible Roman heritage sites, such as the Lullingstone Roman Villa, Richborough Roman Fort, Roman Painted House, and, rather stunningly, the Reculver Towers and Roman Fort.


The Reculver Towers, which overlook the Wantsum Channel, are more commonly referred to as ‘The Two Sisters’. The towers at the medieval Reculver-based fort appear vastly domineering as they stand tall in the skyline of Herne Bay. Following the Romans conquering Britain under Emperor Claudius in AD 43, the towers were erected on the foundations of a 7th-century Saxon church, which has since become a victim of coastal erosion due to its rather close proximity to the beach. As a result of the aforementioned erosion, the towers now act as a navigation marker for ships.

Throughout both the first and second century, a Roman settlement grew at Reculver, with the likelihood being that the earliest forts may have simply protected an existing presence. Upon the commencement of the third century, the fort itself was built in the shape of a square and stood 7.5 metres high with an enclosed area of 3 hectares. Additionally, the fort was built with a gatehouse in the middle of each side, along with a parapet walk along the high outer walls.

By the time that the fifth century had arrived, the Romans had retreated from Britain. Furthermore, at this point in history, the fort had fallen into disrepair following the Romans departure from Britain in around AD 410. Following the fort becoming unusable, it remained abandoned until AD 669 when it was granted to St Augustine’s Abbey in Canterbury for a new monastery by King Echberht.

Contemporary Influences

As a result of the foundations built by the Romans during their conquering of Britain in Ad 43, much of their legacy remains rather prominent in the modern day. Whilst the Reculver Towers and Roman Fort remain a largely popular destination among tourists due to its heritage and coastal proximity, Roman influences have stretched far beyond ancient historical sites.

The 12th century Reculver Towers in Kent” (CC BY 2.0) by John D Fielding

With a move toward digital innovation and modern re-imaginings, many companies and industries have targeted popular historical periods, such as the Romans and their conquering of Britain, in order to increase their customer base. Online casino games such as the Jackpot King game Ave Caesar, for example, provides a rather comic take on one of history’s most influential figures, with a game based in ancient Rome. The early work of the Romans in Britain has led to vast influences in day-to-day consumer cultures, with the period remaining highly fascinating to the majority, and thus proving to be a popular marketing strategy.

Following the third-century construction of the Reculver Towers, the remains still provide for breath-taking viewing, and although large parts of its origins may have eroded away, its contemporary influences are clear for all to see.

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