Visit Canterbury and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Canterbury, Kent. A very ancient city with more than 2,000 years of history, and the site of Canterbury Cathedral, Mother Church of the Anglican communion. There were Belgic settlements here in pre-Roman times. Julius Caesar took the area by storm in 54 B.C. After their conquest of Britain in A.D. 43 the Romans established a regional centre here (Durovernum), and were followed by the Anglo-Saxons. In 597 St Augustine arrived on his mission to spread Christianity in England, and built his first cathedral, and a few years later Canterbury became the Metropolitan City of the English Church. In the 10th and 11th centuries it suffered repeatedly from Danish raids.
In the Civil War the city was damaged during the struggle for its possession, and at the hands of the Parliamentary forces after they gained control. The Industrial Revolution largely passed it by, but during the Second World War it was severely damaged in bombing raids. However. for nearly 14 centuries, through all its vicissitudes, Canterbury has remained the centre of Christianity in England, dominated by the cathedral which escaped almost unscathed, except for some windows, in the bombings of the last war.
Something like one half of the medieval walls which encircled the old city remain, on the eastern side, and run in a continuous line from near Wincheape to Radigund's Street. They date, in the main, from the 13th and 14th centuries and have been excellently maintained. They were partly built on Roman foundations, remnants of which have been discovered during restorations. There are a number of bastions also well preserved. Of the seven original gates only one remains as it was, the West Gate (the old walls have disappeared in this area) which straddles picturesquely but inconveniently the entrance to the main thoroughfare, St Peter's Street. An imposing structure of the late 14th century, it guarded the entrance to the city from the direction of London. It subsequently became a gaol.
Of the castle only the keep remains. It was built during the 11th and 12th centuries, but seems to have been ineffective, quickly surrendering every time it was attacked. The castle was demolished over the centuries, but attempts to break up the keep were defeated by the very solidity of its structure.
In addition to the cathedral. Canterbury has a number of very interesting churches. St Martin's, which is about 4 miles outside the city walls to the east is said to be the oldest church in England still in use. It is believed there was a church dedicated to St Martin on this site in pre-Anglo-Saxon days. Some experts say the chancel dates, basically,from before the arrival of St Augustine in 597, and the nave from shortly after. The tower was built in the Middle Ages and there are other additions of this era. To many, this is the cradle of Christianity in England.
St Dunstan's is another old church in which masonry of the 11th centuries survives. A chapel by the porch dates from the 14th century but there was considerable restoration in the 19th century. It was this church, in 1174, that Henry II entered to remove his ordinary clothes before walking barefoot to the cathedral to do penance for his part in the murder of Thomas a Becket,
St Mildred's Church was reconstructed in the middle of the 13th century but some of the older fabric remains. St Peter's and St Alphege's are of similar date and retain their medieval atmosphere.
St George's Church, where Christopher Marlowe was baptized. was destroyed in the bombing except for its tower, which still stands.
Nearby towns: Ashford, Broadstairs, Deal, Dover, Faversham, Folkstone, Herne Bay, Hythe, Margate, Ramsgate, Sandwich, Whitstable
Nearby villages: Bekesbourne, Beltinge, Blean, Boughton Street, Bridge, Chartham, Chestfield, Chilham, Chislet, Coldred, Crundale, Denton, Fordwich, Godmersham, Goodnestone, Graveney, Grove Ferry, Hackington, Harbledown, Herne, Herne Bay, Hernehill, Hoath, Littlebourne, Lower Hardres, Molash, Petham, Reculver, Sarre, Seasalter, Selling, Shepherdswell, Stelling, Sturry, Swalecliffe, Thannington, Upper Hardres, Waltham, West Stourmouth, Wingham, Womenswold, Wye,
Have you decided to visit Canterbury or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Canterbury bed and breakfast (a Canterbury B&B or Canterbury b and b)
- a Canterbury guesthouse
- a Canterbury hotel (or motel)
- a Canterbury self-catering establishment, or
- other Canterbury accommodation