Canterbury Cathedral
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Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, is one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England and forms part of a World Heritage Site. It is the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Church of England and symbolic leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Its formal title is the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Christ at Canterbury.
Packed full of history the cathedral architecture is breathtaking. A lovely walk along the River. There is the modern pedestrianised shopping area around the Marlowe Arcade, and the more recent Whitefriars development. Large selection of eating places.


Canterbury is a bustling modern city of venerable age, and a place of pilgrimage for the historically minded. It was the capital of the Iron Age kingdom of the Cantii, the name survives in today's city and in the county of Kent, and then an important Roman town. In AD 602, St. Augustine re-dedicated a deserted Roman church within the city wall, creating Christchurch Cathedral, and Canterbury has been the spiritual capital of England ever since. By c1100 it also had a Norman Castle.
The cathedral was rebuilt between 1170 and 1175, creating the bulk of the present magnificent Gothic building. The nave was rebuilt again in 1380 and the great tower went up in 1500. The shrine of Thomas a Becket, murdered here in 1170, was particularly sumptuous. For 200 years it was, Rome apart, the most popular shrine in Europe, thronged by pilgrims, most of whom travelled from London, as did Chaucer's famous group of 1388. The shrine declined in the 15th century and in 1538 it was wrecked by Henry VIII's officers.

Industry flourished when 16th century Flemish refugees set up a woollen cloth industry, while in the late 17th century Huguenot refugees developed silk weaving. The Weavers' House in the High Street dates from this time, as does St. Dunstan's Street.
Devastating bombing in World War 2 destroyed much of the city's heart, but the cathedral survived, as do many timber-framed buildings of the 16th and 17th centuries. Particularly good are Mercery Lane with overhanging buildings and glimpses of the cathedral, and the tiny butter market outside Christchurch Gate of 1517. Post-war clearance has opened up the area around the medieval walls which run along the Roman lines. Canterbury became a university city in 1962 when the University of Kent was built on a hill to the north.
Whether you are looking for relaxation and the chance to unwind or for something more active including great hand's on fun for the younger family members then Kent is the place for you. With many award winning attractions featured together with the best known places to visit and many smaller less well known attractions.
Choose from enchanting gardens, historic houses, mysterious castles, cathedrals and country churches, fascinating museums, animal parks, steam trains, amazing maritime heritage and much more.
Shopping in Canterbury
Canterbury has two very different facets. There is the modern pedestrianised shopping area around the Marlowe Arcade, and the more recent Whitefriars development. And there is the Canterbury of narrow streets and small shops snuggled inside historic, half-timbered buildings - a favourite haunt of the ever-present tourists. Both areas have plenty to offer, and are equally popular. Head in any direction from the Buttermarket - the picturesque square just outside the main Cathedral entrance - and you'll be surrounded by buildings from centuries past. It's a great place to wander, and discover the kind of shops you just can't find in less historic towns.
Check the Canterbury Directory
Canterbury Castle
Canterbury Castle was one of the three original Royal castles of Kent (the other two being Rochester Castle and Dover Castle). They were all built soon after the Battle of Hastings, on the main Roman road from Dover to London. This was the route taken by William the Conqueror in October 1066, and they were built originally as motte-and-bailey castles to guard this important route.
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King's School
King's School can make a good claim to be the oldest school in Britain. There was almost certainly a school established by St Augustine shortly after his arrival in Kent in 597 AD. Initially that school would have served primarily to train priests, but by the late 7th century the school had attained a reputation for learning that drew scholars from across Britain.
The King's School Canterbury Kent CT1 2ES Tel Telephone: 01227 595501
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St Alphege Church
Canterbury, St Alphege Church
St Alphege's was built around 1070 by Archbishop Lanfranc. It was rebuilt in the 12th century, and again in the 13th and 15th centuries. Among the interesting features is a late 15th century pillar, funded by a bequest from Thomas Prude. A brass coat of arms has been set into the pillar, with the inscription, 'Gaude Prude Thoma per quem fit ista columna.', which vey loosely translates as 'Thomas Prude paid for this column'.
St Alphege Church Palace Street
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House of Agnes
House of Agnes
The House of Agnes is a beautiful half-timbered medieval coaching inn just outside the old city walls of Canterbury. It takes its name from the character Agnes Wickfield, in the novel David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens. Dickens set several scenes from the novel in this inn, which dates to the 13th century.
House of Agnes 71 St Dunstans Street Canterbury, Kent CT2 8BN Telephone: 01227 472185
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Canterbury Poster
Canterbury City Walls
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Canterbury City Walls
The Romans erected the first walls around Canterbury between 270 and 290 AD. Very little of those Roman walls remain. The walls we see today are medieval. The medieval walls surounded the entire city of Canterbury and were pierced by 8 gates, West Gate, North Gate, Quenin Gate, Burgate, Newingate, Riding Gate, Worth Gate, and London Gate. Of these, only West Gate remains. Location: Accessible from several points. The best section for walking the walls is located at Dane John Garden.
Dane John Ct Canterbury, CT1 2RN Telephone: 01227 862000
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Christ Church Gateway
Christ Church Gateway
The main visitor entrance to Canterbury Cathedral precinct is through this highly decorated gateway, which was originally built to celbrate the marriage of Arthur, Prince of Wales, to Catherine of Aragon in 1502. Arthur, unfortunately, died a few months later, and the gate was not finished for another 20 years. Location: Off Butter Market. Just follow the signs for the cathedral!
Christ Church Gateway Sun Street, Canterbury, Kent CT1 2HW
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8 Palace Street
8 Palace Street
One of Canterbury's best half-timbered buildings. 8 Palace Street is a 13th century building with later additions. It may have been built as the rectory for the nearby church of St Alphege. Location: On the north side of Palace Street, a short stroll from the Canterbury Cathedral.
8 Palace St Canterbury, Kent CT1 2DY
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Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, is one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England and forms part of a World Heritage Site. It is the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Church of England and symbolic leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Its formal title is the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Christ at Canterbury.
Founded in 597, the cathedral was completely rebuilt from 1070 to 1077. The east end was greatly enlarged at the beginning of the twelfth century, and largely rebuilt in the Gothic style following a fire in 1174, with significant eastward extensions to accommodate the flow of pilgrims visiting the shrine of Thomas Becket, the archbishop who was murdered in the cathedral in 1170. The Norman nave and transepts survived until the late fourteenth century, when they were demolished to make way for the present structures.
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St George's Tower
St George's Tower
The clock tower is all that remains of the medieval church of St George the Martyr. The church is best known as the place where playwrite Christopher Marlowe was baptised.
High Street, Canterbury
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Canterbury Poster
Old Weavers House
Old Weavers House
One of the most photographed historic buildings in Canterbury, the Old Weavers House is a gorgeous half-timbered building on the River Stour. The river quite literally laps at the side of the building, which currently houses a popular restaurant.
3 St Peter's St, Canterbury, Kent, England, CT1 2AT
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St Alphege
St Mildred
St Paul
St Peter
St Dunstan
St George
St Gregory
Holy Cross
St Margaret
St Martin
St Mary Magdalene
St Mary Northgate
Thomas Becket
Thomas Becket's murder at Canterbury Cathedral in 1170 led to the cathedral becoming a place of pilgrimage for Christians worldwide. This pilgrimage provided the theme for Geoffery Chaucer's 14th-century literary classic The Canterbury Tales. The literary heritage continued with the birth of the playwright Christopher Marlowe in the city in the 16th century.
Many historical structures remain in the city, including a city wall founded in Roman times and rebuilt in the 14th century, the ruins of St Augustine's Abbey and a Norman castle, and perhaps the oldest school in England, The King's School. Modern additions include the University of Kent, Canterbury Christ Church University, the Marlowe Theatre, and the St Lawrence Ground, home to Kent County Cricket Club. The city lies at the heart of the City of Canterbury, a local government district.
Canterbury Museum
Explore Canterbury’s underground museum built around remains of a Roman town house with mosaic floors, preserved where excavated. Descend 100 years with each step to Roman Canterbury’s level! Discover amazing finds from everyday Roman life displayed in reconstructions of a house and market, with a Roman mystery sword burial, intricate glass, silver spoon hoard and rare cavalry horse harness.
Enjoy the touch the past hands on area – handle Roman objects and be an archaeological detective! Suitable for all ages.
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Dining in Canterbury
There are several hundreds of eating places in Canterbury, covering all four corners of our gastronomic globe to tempt even the most discerning connoisseur. Whether you want to relax over a cappuccino, enjoy a light lunch, have a fun family meal or indulge in a taste sensation, Canterbury caters for every occasion.
Check the Canterbury Directory
West Gate Tower
Canterbury West Gate Tower
One of the iconic landmarks of Canterbury, the old West Gate stands at the west end of the High Street, beside the River Stour. Generations of medieval pilgrims passed under the gatehouse arch on their way to the shrine of Thomas a Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. Road traffic now flows through the arch - its a bit of an eye-opener to see a modern coach navigate the narrow opening! Location: At the west end of High Street. Easy foot access from the Cathedral precinct.
Canterbury Westgate Towers St. Peters Street, Canterbury CT1 2BQ Telephone: 01227 789576
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The Roper Gate
The Roper Gate is a decorated mid-16th century gateway that once provided an entrance to Place House, home of William Roper and his wife, Margaret Roper, daughter of Sir Thomas More. The gate is a wonderful example of decorative Tudor brickwork. Nothing now remains of Place House beyond the gateway.
St Dunstan Street, Canterbury
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Conduit House
All that remains of medieval waterworks created to supply the nearby abbey of St Augustine. Location: On Kings Park road, off North Holmes Road. Limited parking along the verge, or a short 10 minute stroll from St Augustines Abbey.
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St John's Hospital
St John the Baptist Hospital is the oldest almshouse in England (though there are others of a similar date in Winchester). The almshouse was established in 1085 by Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury, as a residence for needy 30 men and an equal number of women. The main entrance is through a beautiful timber-framed gatehouse off Northgate.
Northgate, Canterbury, Kent, England, CT1 1BG
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Goodnestone Park Gardens
Goodnestone Park Gardens, near Canterbury is the location that in 1796, Jane Austen began writing the novel Pride and Prejudice. Goodnestone Gardens is a popular visitor attraction offering 14 acres of 18th-century parkland as well as traditional rose gardens.
Mary Tourtel, the English artist who created Rupert Bear, was born in Canterbury and lived in Ivy Lane for much of her life, the house is still visible today. She died in 1948 and was also buried in the famous St Martin’s Churchyard.
Today Canterbury is one of the most beautiful and historic cities in England. The medieval city centre bustles with high street shops as well as exclusive boutiques, while the
picturesque side streets are home to smaller specialist shops, pubs and restaurants.
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The remains of a 13th century friary, on the bank of the River Stour. Blackfriars was founded around 1237 by Dominican monks, whose black surcoat gave them the popular monicker 'Black Friars'.
Blackfriars St Canterbury, Kent CT1
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Sir John Boys House
Sir John Boys House
Possibly the most photographed historic building in Canterbury after the Cathedral, Sir John Boys House (sometimes known as Crooked House, King's Gallery, or Old Kings Shop) is a delightfully skewed 17th century half-timbered building at the extreme end of Palace Street, with projecting jetties onto Palace and King Streets.
28 Palace Street, Canterbury, Kent, England, CT1 2DZ
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Greyfiars Chapel
Greyfriars Chapel and Franciscan Garden
The chapel is the only remaining part of a Franciscan friary established in 1267. Greyfriars (named for the grey habits of the Franciscan order of monks) was the first Franciscan monastery in England.
Eastbridge Hospital 25 High Street, Canterbury, CT1 2BD Telephone: 01227 471688
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Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in Kent, England. In England the body responsible for designating SSSIs is Natural England, which chooses a site because of its fauna, flora, geological or physiographical features. As of 2008, there are 98 sites designated in this Area of Search, of which 67 have been designated due to their biological interest, 21 due to their geological interest and 10 for both.

Below is a "Where's the path?" link to map pages of each area of Special Scientific interest in Kent. Here you will be able to view various maps of each location including Aerial, Satellite, Dual View, old Ordnance Survey maps, Cycle routes and much more.

East Blean Woods

This site includes a Kent Trust for Nature Conservation reserve.
East Blean Wood is one of the best remaining examples of primary deciduous woodland in the Blean Woods complex north of Canterbury. The wood comprises mixed coppice with oak standards, sweet chestnut coppice and also a small plantation of Scots pine. The diverse ground flora includes some species indicative of a long history of woodland cover. The smaller, outlying Childs Forstal, Buckwell and Clangate Woods are similar. Also of interest is the insect fauna, particularly the moths and butterflies. The rare heath fritillary butterfly Mellicta athalia, a species specially protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, occurs in these woods. Hornbeam, hazel and ash are the main coppiced species, but a wide variety of other trees and shrubs also occur including the uncommon midland hawthorn Crataegus laevigata and wild service tree Sorbus torminalis. Oak is the predominant standard tree with some ash, sycamore and cherry also present as standards. Old oak and hornbeam pollards can be found along the old boundary banks within the woods.
The woodland ground flora is varied and rich in species. Bramble and bluebell Hyacinthoides non-scripta are usually the most common plants but wood anemone Anemone nemorosa, yellow archangel Lamiastrum galeobdolon and dog’s mercury Mercurialis perennis are also plentiful. Less common plants include spurge laurel Daphne laureola and butcher’s broom Ruscus aculeatus. In the more calcareous parts of the wood herb paris Paris quadrifolia, bird’s nest orchid Neottia nidus-avis and the greater butterfly orchid Platanthera chlorantha are found. A number of small streams, flushes and ponds are present in the woods. These damper areas have a distinctive flora, often dominated by pendulous sedge Carexpendula. Other plants such as cuckoo flower Cardamine pratensis, marsh marigold Caltha palustris and common spotted orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii are also common. Common cow-wheat Melampyrum pratense occurs in the more recently coppiced areas. This species is important as the food plant for the caterpillars of the rare heath fritillary which is now found only in the Blean Woods complex and a few sites in Devon and Cornwall. The woods are also of interest for birds. A wide range of woodland species breed including nuthatch, nightingale, hawfinch, three species of woodpecker, and several tits and warblers.
Where's the path? Use the link below.
East Blean Woods
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Kent Place Names
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If you have wandered through the Kent Downs whether on foot, by horse, bicycle or car will have, at one time or another, pondered over the meaning of place names of towns , villages or hamlets that we normally take for granted in our everyday lives. Places such as Pett Bottom, Bigbury and Bobbing conjure up all manner of intriguing images as to the activities of former inhabitants, while others such as Whatsole Street, Smersole or Hartlip appear completely baffling.
Although most place names may appear at first sight to be random elements of words thrown together in no particular order, most are surprisingly easy to decipher with some elementary grounding in Old English. Over the centuries most of the Old English words have themselves corrupted and changed to appear as we know them today.
Kent Place Names
Kentish Dialect
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Modern Kentish dialect shares many features with other areas of south-east England (sometimes collectively called "Estuary English"). Other characteristic features are more localised. For instance some parts of Kent, particularly in the north west of the county, share many features with broader Cockney.

A Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect and Provincialisms: in use in the county of Kent' by W.D.Parish and W.F.Shaw (Lewes: Farncombe,1888)
'The Dialect of Kent: being the fruits of many rambles' by F. W. T. Sanders (Private limited edition, 1950). Every attempt was made to contact the author to request permission to incorporate his work without success. His copyright is hereby acknowledged.
Kentish Dialect
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Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales 1894 -1895


Canterbury, a parliamentary and municipal borough, and a county borough in Kent. It is also a county in itself. It is the metropolitan see of all England, the capital of the county, an important market-town, a principal station on the L.C. & D.R., and also on the Ashford and Margate branch of the S.E.R., is 55 miles from London by road and 62 by railway, 14 from Margate, 16 from Dover, and 7 from Whitstable. Its site is a valley surrounded by hills, its appearance as seen from any point is highly picturesque, and its environs are diversified and very pleasant. Canterbury returned two members to Parliament until the Redistribution of Seats Act in 1885, when it was deprived of one. Area of the parliamentary borough, 3834 acres; population, 22,710; area of the county and municipal borough, 3971 acres; population, 23,062.

History. Canterbury rose prior to the era of authentic history, and comes into view as a British town under the name of Dwrhwern. The Romans made it one of their principal stations, rebuilt and strengthened it over nearly the whole area occupied by the modern town, and called it Durovernum. The Saxons made it the capital of the kingdom of Kent, and called it Cantwarabyrig, "the stronghold of the men of Kent." The arrival of Augustine in 597, followed by the conversion of Ethelbert, gave it consequence as the source of Christianity to England, and as the cradle of the metropolitical see. The Danes took it in 843, 852, 918, and 1011, but were repelled successively by Elfleda and Canute. It had a castle before the Conquest, and was called Civitas Cantuariae at Domesday. It had begun at the fall of the heptarchy to be eclipsed by Winchester and London, and it continued for ages to decrease in comparative importance, but at the murder of Thomas £ Becket in its cathedral in 1170 it burst into celebrity as one of the most notable towns in Europe. Pilgrims of all ranks from all parts of Christendom crowded to its gates, and the romancers placed it side by side with Cologne and Compostella.

Walls and Streets. Walls most probably were built around the town by the Romans, walls certainly stood around it in the time of the Saxons, new walls and a ditch were formed in the time of Richard I., and these were renovated in 1374-81 by Archbishop Simon of Sudbury. The area within them has been found to contain many Roman bricks, pavements, vases, lachrymatories, and personal ornaments at about 6 or 9 feet beneath the surface, and therefore was occupied by Roman houses. The walls were 6 feet thick, composed of large masses of chalk cemented with a strong mortar and lined and faced with flint, were surmounted by twenty-one turrets at equal distances, and had six gates. Portions of the walls, with two or three of the turrets, still stand in Broad Street, and on the south side of Dane John. The west gate also still stands contiguous to the river, and is a noble embattled structure flanked by two lofty round towers. The ditch around the walls was originally 150 feet wide, but most of it is now built upon or converted into gardens, the chief of which is the picturesque Dane John. Part of the present town is without the walls, and much is modern, handsome, and substantial, but most of it within the walls is ancient. The High Street presents gabled ends and projecting fronts. Alleys and lanes toward the cathedral and its precincts look antiquely picturesque. Mercery Lane, leading on the High Street, was named from the mercery-stalls at which pilgrims bought memorials of their visit, and contains some window arches of the "Checquers of the Hope," noted by the lively and laughter-loving Chaucer, and the first opening west of this lane shows part of the court into which the pilgrims rode. An inn still standing, called the Red Lion, entertained the ambassadors of Charles V. in 1520, and another ancient bat modernized inn, called the Star, in the suburb of St Dunstan, on the way from the railway station to the centre of the city, was a hostel for pilgrims who arrived after the shutting of the gates at nightfall.

Ancient Monasteries. An abbey was founded by St Augustine outside the walls in the eastern suburb of Long-port. It was designed by him mainly as a mausoleum for bishops and kings; it became the burial-place of himself and his successors, and of Ethelbert and his successors; it possessed much grandeur as an edifice, and great wealth and consequence as a monastery; it was always regarded as more sacred and important than the cathedral, till the latter outshone it by means of the glory of Becket's shrine, and it competed to the last with the convent of Christ Church in the splendours and fetes of its guest-hall. The buildings of it were greatly injured at the Reformation, were, some time after, partly converted into a royal palace, were subsequently given to Lord Woton, were several times damaged by fire and by flood, were eventually degraded to the uses of a brewery, and were purchased in 1844 by Mr Beresford Hope, and the Augustine Missionary College was erected on the site.
C2 Canterbury St. Dunstan
C3 Canterbury St. Martin
C4 Canterbury St. Mary Bredin
C5 Canterbury St. Mary Northgate
C6 Canterbury St. Paul


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