Houses of Benedictine monks: The abbey of Reculver

Pages 141-142

A History of the County of Kent: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1926.

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The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle tells us that in 669 King Ecgbriht gave 'Reculf' to Bass, the mass-priest, to build a monastery on. (fn. 1) The foundation of this appears to have followed shortly afterwards; for Lothair, king of Kent, by a charter (fn. 2) in 679 granted land in Thanet and Sturry to Brihtwald, abbot of the monastery of ' Raculf.' On 1 July, 692, Brihtwald, described as ' abbot in the monastery called Raeulf situated by the north mouth of the stream Genlade,' was made archbishop of Canterbury. (fn. 3)

Some other charters to this monastery are preserved. (fn. 4) Eardulf, king of Kent, granted a plough-land called Perhamstede to Heahbert, abbot. Eadbert, king of Kent, who was buried at Reculver on his death in 761, (fn. 5) in 747 granted the toll of one ship in the port of Fordwich to Denehaeh, abbot; and Ealhmund, king of Kent, in 784 granted twelve plough-lands in Sheldwich to Hwitrede, abbot. The exact end of the monastery is not known; but King Edred by a charter in 949 granted it with its possessions to the archbishopric of Canterbury, and it was held by the archbishop at the time of the Domesday Survey. (fn. 6)

Abbots Of Reculver

Brihtwald, occurs 679, resigned 692
Denehaeh, occurs 747
Hwitrede, occurs 784


  • 1. Angl.-Sax. Chron. (Rolls Ser.), i, 56-7; ii, 30.
  • 2. Printed in Dugdale, Mon. i, 455, from Bodleian MS. Tanner, 222.
  • 3. Hist. Mon. St. Aug. (Rolls Sen), 287; Bede, Eccl. Hist, v, 8.
  • 4. Dugdale, Mon. ut supra; Twysden, Decem Scriptores, 2211, 2220.
  • 5. Hist. Mon. St. Aug. 324.
  • 6. V.C.H. Kent, iii.