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Coordinates: 51°16′30″N 1°05′13″E / 51.275°N 1.087°E / 51.275; 1.087

River Stour in Canterbury, England - May 08.jpg
The city lies on the Great Stour river
Canterbury is located in Kent

 Canterbury shown within Kent
Population 43,432 (2001)
OS grid reference TR145575
    - London  62.8 miles 
District Canterbury
Shire county Kent
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district CT1, CT2, CT3, CT4
Dialling code 01227
Police Kent
Fire Kent
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Canterbury
List of places: UK • England • Kent

Canterbury (pronounced /ˈkæntərb(ə)ri/ ( listen) or /ˈkæntərbɛri/[1]) lies at the heart of the City of Canterbury, a local government district of Kent, in South East England. It lies on the River Stour.

Originally a Brythonic settlement, it was renamed Durovernum Cantiacorum by the Roman conquerors in the first century AD. After it became the chief Jutish settlement, it gained its English name Canterbury, itself derived from the Old English Cantwareburh ("Kent people's stronghold"). After the Kingdom of Kent's conversion to Christianity in 597, St Augustine founded an episcopal see in the city and became the first Archbishop of Canterbury, a position that now heads the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion (though the modern-day Province of Canterbury covers the entire south of England). 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.



History of Canterbury redirects here. For the history of the regional area of this name in New Zealand, see History of Canterbury, New Zealand.

Early history

The "Big Dig".

The Canterbury area has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Lower Paleolithic axes, and Neolithic and Bronze Age pots have been found in the area.[2] Canterbury was first recorded as the main settlement of the Celtic tribe, the Cantiaci, which inhabited most of modern day Kent. In the first century AD, the Romans captured the settlement, and named it Durovernum Cantiacorum, meaning "stronghold of the Cantiaci by the alder grove".[3] The Romans rebuilt the city, with new streets in a grid pattern, a theatre, a temple, a forum and public baths. In the late third century, to defend against attack from barbarians, the Romans built around the city an earth bank and a wall with seven gates, which enclosed an area of 130 acres (53 ha).[4]

After the Romans left Britain in 410 AD, Durovernum Cantiacorum was abandoned, apart from a few farmers, and gradually decayed.[5] Over the next 100 years, an Anglo-Saxon community formed within the city walls, as Jutish refugees arrived, possibly intermarrying with the locals.[6] The Jutes named the city Cantwaraburh, meaning "Kent people's stronghold".[7] In 597 AD, Pope Gregory the Great sent Augustine to convert King Æthelberht of Kent to Christianity. After the conversion, Canterbury, as a Roman town, was chosen by Augustine as the centre for an episcopal see in Kent, and an abbey and cathedral were built. Augustine thus became the first Archbishop of Canterbury.[8] The town's new importance led to its revival, and trades developed in pottery, textiles and leather. By 630, gold coins were being struck at the Canterbury mint.[9] In 672 the Synod of Hertford gave the see of Canterbury authority over the entire English Church.[7]

In 842 and 851, Canterbury suffered great loss of life during Danish raids. In 978, Archbishop Dunstan refounded the abbey built by Augustine, and named it St Augustine's Abbey.[10] A second wave of Danish attacks began in 991, and in 1011 the cathedral was burnt and Archbishop Alphege was killed. Remembering the destruction caused by the Danes, the inhabitants of Canterbury did not resist William the Conqueror's invasion in 1066.[7] William immediately ordered a wooden motte-and-bailey castle to be built by the Roman city wall. In the early 12th century, the castle was rebuilt with stone.[11]

After the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket at the cathedral in 1170, Canterbury became one of the most notable towns in Europe, as pilgrims from all parts of Christendom came to visit his shrine.[12] This pilgrimage provided the framework for Geoffrey Chaucer's 14th-century collection of stories, The Canterbury Tales.

Canterbury is associated with several saints from this period who lived in Canterbury:

14th–17th centuries

Huguenot weavers' houses near the High Street

The Black Death hit Canterbury in 1348. At 10,000, Canterbury had the 10th largest population in England; by the early 16th century, the population had fallen to 3,000. In 1363, during the Hundred Years' War, a Commission of Inquiry found that disrepair, stone-robbing and ditch-filling had led to the Roman wall becoming eroded. Between 1378 and 1402, the wall was virtually rebuilt, and new wall towers were added.[13] In 1381, during the Peasants' Revolt, the castle and Archbishop's Palace were sacked, and Archbishop Sudbury was beheaded in London. Sudbury is still remembered annually by the Christmas mayoral procession to his tomb at Canterbury Cathedral. In 1413 Henry IV became the only sovereign to be buried at the cathedral. In 1448 Canterbury was granted a City Charter, which gave it a mayor and a high sheriff; the city still has a Lord Mayor and Sheriff.[14] In 1504 the cathedral's main tower, the Bell Harry Tower, was completed, ending 400 years of building.

During the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the city's priory, nunnery and three friaries were closed. St Augustine's Abbey, the 14th richest in England at the time, was surrendered to the Crown, and its church and cloister were levelled. The rest of the abbey was dismantled over the next 15 years, although part of the site was converted to a palace.[15] Thomas Becket's shrine in the Cathedral was demolished and all the gold, silver and jewels were removed to the Tower of London, and Becket's images, name and feasts were obliterated throughout the kingdom, ending the pilgrimages.

By the 17th century, Canterbury's population was 5,000; of whom 2,000 were French-speaking Protestant Huguenots, who had begun fleeing persecution and war in the Spanish Netherlands in the mid-16th century. The Huguenots introduced silk weaving into the city, which by 1676 had outstripped wool weaving.[16]

In 1620 Robert Cushman negotiated the lease of the Mayflower at 59 Palace Street for the purpose of transporting the Pilgrims to America.

In 1647, during the English Civil War, riots broke out when Canterbury's puritan mayor banned church services on Christmas Day. The rioters' trial the following year led to a Kent revolt against the Parliamentarian forces, contributing to the start of the second phase of the war. However, Canterbury surrendered peacefully to the Parliamentarians after their victory at the Battle of Maidstone.[17]

18th century–present

The tower of St George's church, where Marlowe was baptised, is all that survived of the church after the Baedecker Blitz

The city's first newspaper, the Kentish Post, was founded in 1717.[18] It merged with the newly founded Kentish Gazette in 1768[19].

By 1770 the castle had come into disrepair, and many parts of the castle were demolished during the late 18th century and early 19th century.[20] In 1787 all the gates in the city wall, except for Westgate - the city jail - were demolished as a result of a commission that found them impeding to new coach travel.[21] By 1820 the city's silk industry had been killed by imported Indian muslins.[16] The Canterbury and Whitstable Railway, the world's first passenger railway, was opened in 1830.[22] Between 1830 and 1900, the city's population grew from 15,000 to 24,000.[22] Canterbury Prison was opened in 1808 just outside the city limits.[23]

During the First World War, a number of barracks and voluntary hospitals were set up around the city, and in 1917 a German bomber crash-landed near Broad Oak Road.[24] During the Second World War, 10,445 bombs dropped during 135 separate raids destroyed 731 homes and 296 other buildings in the city, including the Simon Langton Grammar Schools, and 115 people were killed.[25] The most devastating raid was on 1 June 1942 during the Baedecker Blitz.[24]

Before the end of the war, architect Charles Holden drew up plans to redevelop the city centre, but locals were so opposed that the Citizens' Defence Association was formed and swept to power in the 1945 municipal elections. Post-war rebuilding of the city centre eventually began 10 years after the war.[26] A ring-road was constructed outside the city walls some time after in stages to alleviate growing traffic problems in the city centre, which was later pedestrianised. The biggest expansion to the city occurred in the 1960s, with the arrival of the University of Kent at Canterbury and Christ Church College.[26]

The 1980s saw visits from Pope John Paul II and Queen Elizabeth II, and the beginning of the annual Canterbury Festival.[27] Canterbury received its own radio station in CTFM, now KMFM Canterbury, in 1997. Between 1999 and 2005, the Whitefriars shopping centre underwent major redevelopment. In 2000, during the redevelopment, a major archaeological project was undertaken by the Canterbury Archaeological Trust, known as the Big Dig,[28] which was supported by Channel Four's Time Team.[29]

Another famous visitor was Mahatma Gandhi, who came to the city[30] in October 1931; on this occasion he met[31] Hewlett Johnson, then Dean of Canterbury.


Since 1987, the Member of Parliament for the Canterbury constituency, which includes Whitstable, has been the Conservative Julian Brazier.[32] At the 2005 general election, the Conservatives won a majority of 7,471 and 44.4% of the vote in the Canterbury constituency. Labour won 28.7% of the vote, Liberal Democrats 21.1%, the Green Party 3.2%, United Kingdom Independence Party 1.9%, and the Legalise Cannabis Alliance 0.7%.[33]

Canterbury, along with Whitstable and Herne Bay, is in the City of Canterbury local government district. The city's urban area consists of the six electoral wards of Barton, Harbledown, Northgate, St Stephens, Westgate, and Wincheap. These wards have fifteen of the fifty seats on the Canterbury City Council. As of May 2008, eleven of those seats were held by the Liberal Democrats, three by the Conservatives and one was vacant.[34]

The city became a county corporate in 1461, and later a county borough under the Local Government Act 1888. In 1974 it lost its status as the smallest county borough in England, after the Local Government Act 1972, and came under the control of Kent County Council.


The Great Stour River in the city centre

Canterbury is located at 51°16′30″N 1°05′13″E / 51.275°N 1.08694°E / 51.275; 1.08694 (51.275, 1.087) in east Kent, about 55 miles (89 km) east-southeast of London. The coastal towns of Herne Bay and Whitstable are 6 miles (10 km) to the north, and Faversham is 8 miles (13 km) to the northwest. Nearby villages include Rough Common, Sturry and Tyler Hill. The civil parish of Thanington Without is to the southwest; the rest of the city is unparished. Harbledown, Wincheap and Hales Place are suburbs of the city.

The city is on the River Stour or Great Stour, flowing from its source at Lenham north-east through Ashford to the English Channel at Sandwich. The river divides south east of the city, one branch flowing though the city, the other around the position of the former walls. The two branches rejoin or are linked several times, but finally recombine around the town of Fordwich, on the edge of the marshland north east of the city. The Stour is navigable on the tidal section to Fordwich, although above this point canoes and other small craft can be used. Punts are available for hire in Canterbury.

The geology of the area consists mainly of brickearth overlying chalk. Tertiary sands overlain by London clay form St. Thomas's Hill and St. Stephen's Hill about a mile northwest of the city centre.[35]


Canterbury compared
2001 UK Census Canterbury city Canterbury district England
Total population 43,432 135,278 49,138,831
Foreign born 11.6% 5.1% 9.2%
White 95% 97% 91%
Asian 1.8% 1.6% 4.6%
Black 0.7% 0.5% 2.3%
Christian 68% 73% 72%
Muslim 1.1% 0.6% 3.1%
Hindu 0.8% 0.4% 1.1%
No religion 20% 17% 15%
Unemployed 3.0% 2.7% 3.3%

As of the 2001 UK census,[36][37][38][39][40][41] the total population of the city's urban area wards was 43,432.

Residents of the city had an average age of 37.1 years, younger than the 40.2 average throughout the district and the 38.6 average for England. Of the 17,536 households, 35% were one-person households, 39% were couples, 10% were lone parents, and 15% other. Of those aged 16–74 in the city, 27% had a higher education qualification, higher than the 20% national average.

Compared with the rest of England, the city had an above-average proportion of foreign-born residents, at around 12%. Ninety-five percent of residents were recorded as white; the largest minority group was recorded as Asian, at 1.8% of the population. Religion was recorded as 68.2% Christian, 1.1% Muslim, 0.5% Buddhist, 0.8% Hindu, 0.2% Jewish, and 0.1% Sikh. The rest either had no religion, an alternative religion, or did not state their religion.

Population growth in Canterbury since 1901
Year 1901 1911 1921 1931 1939 1951 1961 1971 2001
Population 24,899 24,626 23,737 24,446 26,999 27,795 30,415 33,155 43,432
Source: A Vision of Britain through Time


Canterbury district retains approximately 4,761 businesses, up to 60,000 full- and part-time employees and was worth £1.3 billion in 2001.[42] This makes the district the second largest economy in Kent.[42] Unemployment in the city has dropped significantly since 2001 owing to the opening of the Whitefriars shopping complex which introduced thousands of job opportunities.[43] In April 2008, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, controversially demanded that salary caps should be implemented to curb the pay of the rich in an attempt to manage to growth of the economy.[44] The city's economy benefits mainly from significant economic projects such as the Canterbury Enterprise Hub, Lakesview International Business Park and the Whitefriars retail development.[42] Tourism contributes £258M to the Canterbury economy and has been a "cornerstone of the local economy" for a number of years; Canterbury Cathedral alone generates over one million visitors a year.[42]



Canterbury Cathedral is the Mother Church of the Anglican Communion and seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Founded in 597 AD by Augustine, it forms a World Heritage Site, along with the Saxon St. Martin's Church and the ruins of St Augustine's Abbey. With one million visitors per year, it is one of the most visited places in the country. Services are held at the Cathedral three or more times a day.[45][46]

The Roman Museum houses an in situ mosaic pavement dating from around 300 CE.[47] Surviving structures from the Roman times include Queningate, a blocked gate in the city wall, and the Dane John Mound, once part of a Roman cemetery.[48] The Dane John Gardens were built beside the mound in the 18th century, and a memorial was placed on the mound's summit.[49] A windmill was on the mound between 1731 and 1839.

The ruins of the Norman Canterbury Castle and St Augustine's Abbey are both open to the public. The medieval St Margaret's Church now houses the "The Canterbury Tales", in which life-sized character models reconstruct Geoffrey Chaucer's stories. The Westgate is now a museum relating to its history as a jail. The medieval church of St Alphege became redundant in 1982 but had a new lease of life as the Canterbury Urban Studies Centre, later renamed the Canterbury Environment Centre; the building is used by the King's School. The Old Synagogue at Canterbury, now the King's School Music Room, is one of only two Egyptian Revival synagogues still standing. The city centre contains many timber-framed 16th- and 17th -century houses, including the "Old Weaver's House" used by the Huguenots.[50] St Martin's Mill is the only surviving mill out of the six known to have stood in Canterbury. It was built in 1817 and worked until 1890; it is now a house conversion.[51]


The Marlowe Theatre

The city's theatre and concert hall is the Marlowe Theatre named after Christopher Marlowe who was born in the city in Elizabethan times. He was baptised in the city's St George's Church, which was destroyed during the Second World War.[52] The old Marlowe Theatre was located in St Margaret's Street and housed a repertory theatre. Another theatre – the Gulbenkian – also serves the city and can be found at the University of Kent.[53]

Besides the two theatres, theatrical performances take place at several areas of the city, for instance the Cathedral and St Augustine's Abbey. The premiere of Murder in the Cathedral by T. S. Eliot took place at Canterbury Cathedral.[54]

The oldest surviving Tudor theatre in Canterbury is now Casey's Bar, formerly known as The Shakespeare Pub. There are several theatre groups based in Canterbury, including the University of Kent Students' Union's T24 Drama Society, The Canterbury Players[55] and Kent Youth Theatre. The Marlowe theatre has now been demolished, and is currently being rebuilt. It is expected to re-open in 2011.


The Cathedral


Polyphonic music written for the monks of Christ Church Priory (the Cathedral) survives from the thirteenth century. The Cathedral may have had an organ as early as the twelfth century,[56] though the names of organists are only recorded from the early fifteenth century.[57] One of the earliest named composers associated with Canterbury Cathedral was Leonel Power, who was appointed master of the new Lady Chapel choir formed in 1438.


The Reformation brought a period of decline in the Cathedral's music which was revived under Dean Thomas Neville in the early seventeenth century. Neville introduced instrumentalists into the Cathedral's music who played cornett and sackbut, probably members of the city's band of waits. The Cathedral acquired sets of recorders, lutes and viols for the use of the choir boys and lay-clerks.[56]

The City

Early modern

As was common in English cities in the Middle Ages, Canterbury employed a town band known as the Waits. There are records of payments to the Waits starting from 1402, though they probably existed earlier than this. The Waits were disbanded by the city authorities in 1641 for 'misdemeanors' but were reinstated in 1660 when they played for the visit of King Charles II on his return from exile.[58] Waits were eventually abolished nationally by the Municipal Corporations Act of 1835. A modern early music group called The Canterbury Waits has revived the name.[59]

The Canterbury Catch Club was a musical and social club which met in the city between 1779 and 1865. The club (male only) met weekly in the winter. It employed an orchestra to assist in performances in the first half of the evening. After the interval, the members sang catches and glees from the club's extensive music library (now deposited at the Cathedral Archives in Canterbury).[60]


The city gave its name to a musical genre known as the Canterbury Sound or Canterbury Scene, a group of progressive rock, avant-garde and jazz musicians based around the city during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Some very notable Canterbury bands were Soft Machine, Caravan, Egg, Hatfield and the North, National Health and Camel. Over the years, with band membership changes and new bands evolving, the term has been used to describe a musical style or subgenre, rather than a regional group of musicians.[61]

The University of Kent has hosted concerts by bands including Led Zeppelin[62] and The Who.[63] During the late seventies and early eighties the Canterbury Odeon hosted a number of major acts, including The Cure[64] and Joy Division.[65] The Marlowe Theatre is also used for many musical performances, such as Don McLean in 2007,[66] and Fairport Convention in 2008.[67] A regular music and dance venue is the Westgate Hall.

The Canterbury Choral Society gives regular concerts in Canterbury Cathedral, specialising in the large-scale choral works of the classical repertory.[68] The Canterbury Orchestra, founded in 1953, is a thriving group of enthusiastic players who regularly tackle major works from the symphonic repertoire.[69] Other musical groups include the Canterbury Singers (also founded in 1953), Cantemus, and the City of Canterbury Chamber Choir.[70] The University of Kent has a Symphony Orchestra, a University Choir, a Chamber Choir, and a University Concert Band and Big Band.[71]

The Canterbury Festival takes place over two weeks in October each year in Canterbury and the surrounding towns. It includes a wide range of musical events ranging from opera and symphony concerts to world music, jazz, folk, etc., with a Festival Club, a Fringe, and Umbrella events.[72] Canterbury also hosts the annual Lounge On The Farm festival in July, which mainly sees performances from rock, indie and dance artists.


Composers with an association with Canterbury include

  • Thomas Tallis (c. 1505–1585), became a lay clerk (singing man) at Canterbury Cathedral c. 1540 and was subsequently appointed a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal in 1543.[56]
  • John Ward (1571–1638), born in Canterbury, a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral, composed madrigals, works for viol consort, services, and anthems.
  • Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625), organist, composer, and Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, who died in Canterbury and was buried in the Cathedral.
  • William Flackton (1709–1798), born in Canterbury, a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral, was an organist, viola player and composer.
  • John Marsh (1752–1828), lawyer, amateur composer and concert organiser, wrote two symphonies for the Canterbury Orchestra before moving to Chichester in 1784.
  • Thomas Clark (1775 - 1859), shoemaker and organist at the Methodist church in Canterbury, composer of 'West Gallery' hymns and psalm tunes.[73]
  • Alan Ridout (1934-1996) educator and broadcaster, composer of church, orchestral and chamber music.
  • Sir Peter Maxwell Davies was appointed an Honorary Fellow of Canterbury Christ Church University at a ceremony in Canterbury Cathedral.
  • Many Canterbury Cathedral organists composed services, anthems, hymns, etc.


St Lawrence Ground is notable as one of the two grounds used regularly for first-class cricket that have a tree within the boundary (the other is the City Oval in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa). It is the home ground of Kent County Cricket Club and has hosted several One Day Internationals, including one England match during the 1999 Cricket World Cup.[74]

Canterbury City F.C. reformed in 2007 as a community interest company and the mens team competed in the Kent County League Division Two (East) in 2007/08. The previous incarnation of the club folded in 2001.[75] Canterbury's Rugby Football Club were founded in 1926 and became the first East Kent club to achieve National League status when they were promoted to the National League Division 3 South in 2006.[76]

The Tour de France has visited the city twice. In 1994 the tour passed through, and in 2007 it held the finish for Stage 1.[77] Canterbury Hockey Club is one of the largest clubs in the country, often succeeding to top the English leagues in all age and sex categories.[78] Former Olympic gold medal winner Sean Kerly is one of their coaches.[79]

Sporting activities for the public are provided at the Kingsmead Leisure Centre, which has a 33-metre (108 ft) swimming pool and a sports hall for football, basketball, and badminton.[80]



Canterbury was the terminus of the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway (known locally as the Crab and Winkle line) which was a pioneer line, opened on 3 May 1830, and finally closed in 1953. Despite claims by the Stockton and Darlington Railway, the Canterbury and Whitstable was the first regular passenger steam railway in the world.[81] The first station in Canterbury was at North Lane.

Today, Canterbury has two railway stations, Canterbury West and Canterbury East, both operated by Southeastern. Canterbury West station, on the South Eastern Railway from Ashford, was opened on 6 February 1846, and on 13 April the line to Ramsgate was completed. Canterbury West is served primarily from London Charing Cross with limited services from Victoria as well as by trains to Ramsgate and Margate. Canterbury East, the more central of the two stations, was opened by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway on 9 July 1860. Services from London Victoria stop at Canterbury East (journey time around 88 minutes) and continue to Dover. A fourth station in Canterbury was Canterbury South on the Elham Valley Railway, which opened in 1890 and closed in 1947. A high-speed train service to London St Pancras via Ashford International started on 13 December 2009. The journey time to London has been reduced to one hour.[82]


Canterbury is by-passed by the A2 London to Dover Road. It is about 45 miles (72 km) from the M25 London orbital motorway, and 61 miles (98 km) from central London. The other main road through Canterbury is the A28 from Ashford to Ramsgate and Margate. The City Council has invested heavily in Park-and-Ride systems around the City's outskirts and there are three sites: at Wincheap, New Dover Road and Sturry Road. There are plans to build direct access sliproads to and from the London directions of the A2 where it meets the congested Wincheap (at present there are only slips from the A28 to and from the direction of Dover) to allow more direct access to Canterbury from the A2, but these are currently subject to local discussion.[83] The hourly National Express coach service to and from Victoria Coach Station, which leaves from the main bus station, is typically scheduled to take two hours.


The gate which once led to Saint Augustine's Abbey now leads to part of the King's School

The city has many students as it is home to two universities, together with several other higher education institutions and colleges; at the 2001 census, 22% of the population aged 16–74 were full-time students, compared with 7% throughout England.[84]

The University of Kent's main campus is situated over 300 acres (121 ha) on St. Stephen's Hill, a mile north of Canterbury city centre. Formerly called the University of Kent at Canterbury, it was founded in 1965, with a smaller campus opened in 2000 in the town of Chatham. As of 2007, it had around 16,000 students.[85]

Canterbury Christ Church University was founded as a teacher training college in 1962 by the Church of England. In 1978 its range of courses began to expand into other subjects, and in 1995 it was given the power to become a University college. In 2005 it was granted full university status, and as of 2007 it had around 15,000 students.[86]

The University College for the Creative Arts is the oldest higher education institution in the city, having been founded in 1882 by Thomas Sidney Cooper as the Sidney Cooper School of Art. Near the University of Kent is the Franciscan International Study Centre,[87] a place of study for the worldwide Franciscan Order. Chaucer College is an independent college for Japanese and other students within the campus of the University of Kent. Canterbury College, formerly Canterbury College of Technology, offers a mixture of vocation, further and higher education courses for school leavers and adults.

Independent secondary schools include Kent College, St Edmund's School and, what is often described as the oldest school in England, The King's School. St. Augustine established a school shortly after his arrival in Canterbury in 597, and it is from this that some claim The King’s School grew. Although, the documented history of the school only began after the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century, when the school acquired its present name, referring to Henry VIII.[88]

The city's secondary grammar schools are Barton Court Grammar School, Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys and Simon Langton Girls' Grammar School; all of which in 2008 had over 93% of their pupils gain five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C, including English and maths.[89] The non-selective state secondary schools are The Canterbury High School, St Anselm's Catholic School, the Church of England's Archbishop's School, and Chaucer Technology School; all of which in 2008 had more than 30% of their pupils gain five or more GCSEs at grades A* to C including English and maths.

Local media


Canterbury's first newspaper was the Kentish Post, founded in 1717.[18] It changed its name to the Kentish Gazette in 1768[90] and is still being published, claiming to be the country's second oldest surviving newspaper[91]. It is currently produced as a paid-for newspaper produced by the KM Group, based in nearby Whitstable. This newspaper covers the East Kent area and has a circulation of about 25,000.[92]

Three free weekly newspapers provide news on the Canterbury district: yourcanterbury, the Canterbury Times and Canterbury Extra. The Canterbury Times is owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust and has a circulation of about 55,000.[93][94] The Canterbury Extra is owned by the KM Group and also has a circulation of about 55,000.[95] yourcanterbury is published by KOS Media, which also prints the popular county paper Kent on Sunday. It also runs a website giving daily updated news and events for the city.


Canterbury is served by 2 local radio stations, KMFM Canterbury and CSR 97.4FM.

KMFM Canterbury broadcasts on 106FM. It was formerly known as KMFM106, and before the KM Group took control it was known as CTFM, based on the local postcode being CT[96]. Previously based in the city, the station's studios and presenters were moved to Ashford in 2008[97].

CSR 97.4FM, an acronym for "Community Student Radio", broadcasts on 97.4FM from studios at both the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University. The station is run by a collaboration of education establishments in the city including the two universities. The transmitter is based at the University of Kent, offering a good coverage of the city.[98] CSR replaced two existing radio stations: C4 Radio, which served Canterbury Christ Church University, and UKC Radio, which served the University of Kent.

There are 2 other stations that cover parts of the city. Canterbury Hospital Radio (CHR) serves the patients of the Kent and Canterbury Hospital,[99] and Simon Langton Boys School has a radio station, SLBSLive, which can only be picked up on the school grounds.[100]

Notable people

People born in Canterbury include Christopher Marlowe,[101] TV presenter Fiona Phillips,[102] airline entrepreneur Sir Freddie Laker,[103] boy singer and actor Joseph McManners[104], comic book artist Jack Lawrence, and actor Orlando Bloom.[105] Mary Tourtel, the creator of Rupert Bear,[106] and the Victorian animal painter who taught her, Thomas Sidney Cooper[107], were both born and lived in the city. The Cricketer David Gower,[108] physician William Harvey,[109] writer W. Somerset Maugham[109] and film director Michael Powell[109] are among the former pupils of The King's School, Canterbury. Notable alumni of the University of Kent include comedian Alan Davies, singer Ellie Goulding, newspaper editor Rosie Boycott, actor Tom Wilkinson, and Booker Prize winning novelist Kazuo Ishiguro.[110]

Twin town

Canterbury is twinned with the following city:

See also


  1. ^ Roach, Peter; Hartman, James; Setter, Jane et al., eds (2006). Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (17th ed.). Cambridge: CUP. ISBN 978-0-521-68086-8. 
  2. ^ Lyle p. 16.
  3. ^ Lyle p. 29.
  4. ^ Lyle p. 43–44.
  5. ^ Lyle p. 42.
  6. ^ Lyle p. 42, 47.
  7. ^ a b c "Canterbury Timeline". Channel 4. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  8. ^ Lyle p. 47–48.
  9. ^ Lyle p. 48–50.
  10. ^ Lyle p. 53.
  11. ^ Lyle p. 64, 66.
  12. ^ "Descriptive Gazetteer entry for Canterbury". Vision of Britain. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  13. ^ Lyle, pp. 86–87.
  14. ^ Lyle, p. 91.
  15. ^ Lyle, pp. 97–100.
  16. ^ a b Lyle, p. 107.
  17. ^ Lyle, p. 109.
  18. ^ a b R. M. Wiles, Freshest advices : early provincial newspapers in England, Ohio State University Press, 1965, p. 397.
  19. ^ David J. Shaw and Sarah Gray, ‘James Abree (1691? – 1768) : Canterbury’s first "modern" printer’, in: The Reach of print : Making, selling and reading books, ed. P. Isaac and B. McKay, Winchester, St Paul’s Bibliographies, 1998. Pp. 21–36. ISBN 1-873040-51-2
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  • Lyle, Marjorie. Canterbury: 2000 Years of History. Tempus, (2002). ISBN 075241948X.
  • Butler, Derek. A Century of Canterbury. Sutton Publishing Ltd, (2002). ISBN 0750932430.
  • Tellem, Geraint. Canterbury and Kent. Jarrold Publishing, (2002). ISBN 0711720797.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CANTERBURY, a city and county of a city, the metropolis of an archdiocese of the Church of England, and a municipal, county and parliamentary borough of Kent, England, 62 m. E.S.E. of London by the South-Eastern & Chatham railway. Pop. (1901) 24,889. It lies on the river Stour, which here debouches from a beautiful narrow valley of the North Downs, the low but abrupt elevations of which command fine views of the city from the west and south, while the river presently enters upon the flat belt of land which separates the elevated Isle of Thanet from the rest of Kent. This belt represents the existence, in early historic times, of a sea-strait, and Fordwich, little more than 2 m. north-east of Canterbury, was once accessible for shipping. The city surrounds the precincts of the great cathedral.

The Cathedral

It was to Canterbury, as the capital of ZEthelberht, the fourth Saxon king of Kent, that in J97 Augustine and his fellow-missionaries came from Rome, and their settlement by lEthelberht in his capital became the origin of its position, held ever since, as the metropolis of the Church of England. ZEthelberht, whose queen, Bertha, was already a Christian, gave the missionaries a church whose mythical founder was King Lucius. Augustine was a Benedictine and established the monastery of that order attached to the cathedral; this foundation was set upon a firm basis after the Norman Conquest by Archbishop Lanfranc, who placed its charge (as distinct from that of the diocese) in the hands of a prior.

Preparatory to the description of the cathedral, the principal epochs in the history of its erection may be noted. The RomanoBritish church occupied by St Augustine, of basilica form, remained long in use, though it was largely rebuilt by Archbishop Odo, c. 950; after further vicissitudes it was destroyed by fire in 1067. Archbishop Lanfranc, taking up his office in 1070, undertook the building of an entirely new church, but under Anselm (c. i loo) Prior Ernulf rebuilt the eastern part, and his successor Conrad carried on the work. A fire destroyed much of this part of the building in 1174, and from that year the architect, William of Sens, took up the work of rebuilding until 1178, when, on his suffering serious injury by falling from a scaffold, another William, commonly distinguished as the Englishman, carried on the work and completed it in 1184. In 1 3 76 Archbishop Sudbury entered upon the construction of a new nave, and Prior Chillenden continued this under Archbishop Courtenay. The building of the central tower was undertaken c. 1495 by Prior Goldstone, with the counsel of Selling, his predecessor, and Archbishop Morton.

This Perpendicular tower is the most notable feature of the exterior. It rises in two storeys to a height of 235 ft. from the ground, and is known variously as Bell Harry tower Exterior. from the great bell it contains, or as the Angel steeple from the gilded figure of an angel which formerly adorned the summit. The Perpendicular nave is flanked at the west front by towers, whose massive buttresses, rising in tiers, serve to enhance by contrast the beautiful effect of the unbroken straight lines of Bell Harry tower. The south-western of these towers is an original Perpendicular structure by Prior Goldstone, while the north-western was copied from it in 1834-1840, replacing a Norman tower which had carried a spire until 1705 and had become unsafe. The north-west and south-west transepts are included in Chillenden's Perpendicular reconstruction; but east of these earlier work is met with. The south-east transept exhibits Norman work; the projecting chapel east of this is known as Anselm's tower. The cathedral terminates eastward in a graceful apsidal form, with the final addition of the circular eastern chapel built by William the Englishman, and known as the Corona or Becket's Crown. St Andrew's tower or chapel on the north side, corresponding to Anselm's on the south, is the work of Ernulf. From this point westward the various monastic buildings adjoin the cathedral on the north side, so that the south side is that from which the details of the exterior must be examined.

When the nave of the cathedral is entered, the complete separation of the interior into two main parts, not only owing to the distinction between the two main periods of Interior. building, but by an actual structural arrangement, is realized as an unusual and, as it happens, a most impressive feature. In most English cathedrals the choir is separated from the nave by a screen; at Canterbury not only is this the case, but the separation is further marked by a broad flight of steps leading up to the screen, the choir floor (but not its roof) being much higher than that of the nave. Chillenden, in rebuilding the nave, retained only the lower parts of some of the early Norman walls of Lanfranc and the piers of the central tower arches. These piers were encased or altered on Perpendicular lines. In the choir, the late 12th-century work of the two Williams, the notable features are its great length, the fine ornamentation and the use of arches both round and pointed, a remarkable illustration of the transition between the Norman and Early English styles; the prolific use of dark marble in the shafts and mouldings strongly contrasting with the light stone which is the material principally used; and, finally, the graceful incurve of the main arcades and walls at the eastern end of the choir where it joins the chapel of the Trinity, an arrangement necessitated by the preservation of the earlier flanking chapels or towers of St Anselm` and St Andrew. From the altar eastward the floor of the church is raised again above that of the choir. The choir screen was built by Prior de Estria, c. 1300. The organ is not seen, being hidden in the triforium and played from the choir. There are several tombs of archbishops in the choir. The south-east transept serves as the chapel of the King's school and exhibits the work of William of Sens in alteration of that of Ernulf. Anselm's chapel or tower, already mentioned, may be noticed again as containing a Decorated window (1336). This style is not common in the cathedral.

Behind the altar is Trinity Chapel, in the centre of which stood the celebrated shrine of St Thomas of Canterbury. The priory owed its chief fame to the murder of Archbishop Becket's Becket (1170) in the church, his canonization as St shrine. Thomas of Canterbury, and the resort of the Christian Pilgrim- world on pilgrimage to his shrine. Miracles were ages. almost immediately said to be worked at his grave in the crypt and at the well in which his garments had been washed; and from the time when Henry II. did his penance for the murder in the church, and the battle of Alnwick was gained over the Scots a few days afterwards - it was supposed as a result - the History of the building. fame of the martyr's power and the popularity of his worship became established in England. On the rebuilding of the cathedral after the fire of I 174, a magnificent shrine was erected for him in Trinity Chapel, which was built for the purpose, and became thronged for three centuries by pilgrims and worshippers of all classes, from kings and emperors downward. Henceforward the interests of the city became bound up in those of the cathedral, and were shown in the large number of hostels for the accommodation of pilgrims, and of shops containing wares especially suited to their tastes. A pilgrimage to Canterbury became not only a pious exercise, but a favourite summer excursion; and the poet Chaucer, writing in the 14th century, gives an admirable picture of such pilgrimages, with the manners and behaviour of a party of pilgrims, leisurely enjoying the journey and telling stories on the road. The English language even preserved two words originating in these customs-a "Canterbury," or a "Canterbury tale," a phrase used for a fiction, and a "canter," which is a short form for a "canterbury gallop," an allusion to the easy pace at which these pilgrimages were performed. The shrine with its vast collected wealth was destroyed, and every reminiscence connected with it as far as possible effaced, by King Henry VIII.'s commissioners in 1538. But some of the beautiful old windows of stained glass, illustrating the miracles wrought in connexion with the saint, are preserved. The north-west transept was the actual scene of Becket's murder; the spot where he fell is shown on the floor, but this part of the building is of later date than the tragedy.

Close to the site of the shrine is the fine tomb of Edward the Black Prince, with a remarkable portrait effigy, and above it his helmet, shield and other equipment. There is also in this chapel the tomb of King Henry IV. The Corona, at the extreme east of the church, contains the so-called St Augustine's chair in which the archbishops are enthroned. It is of marble, but its name is not deserved, as it dates probably from c. 1200. The western part of the crypt, beneath the choir, is the work of Ernulf, and perhaps incorporates some of Lanfranc's work. The chapel of St John or St Gabriel, beneath Anselm's tower, is still used for service, in which the French language is used; it was devoted to this purpose in 1561, on behalf of French Protestant refugees, who were also permitted to carry on their trade as weavers in the crypt. The eastern and loftier part of the crypt, with its apsidal termination, is the work of William the Englishman. Here for some time lay the body of Becket, and here the celebrated penance of Henry was performed.

The chief entrance to the precincts is through an ornate gateway at the south-west, called Christchurch gateway, and built by Prior Goldstone in 1517. Among the remains of Norman ruins of the infirmary, the fine two-storeyed treasury and the lavatory tower, Norman in the lower part and Perpendicular in the upper. The cloisters are of various dates, containing a little rich Norman work, but were very largely rebuilt by Prior Chillenden. The upper part of the chapterhouse is also his work, but the lower is by Prior de Estria. The library is modern. The site of the New Hall of the monastery is covered by modern buildings of King's school, but the Norman entry-stair is preserved-a magnificent example of the style, with highly ornate arcading.

The principal dimensions of the cathedral are: length (outside) 522 ft., nave 178 ft., choir 180 ft. The nave is 71 ft. in breadth and 80 ft. in height.

The archbishop of Canterbury is primate of all England; the ecclesiastical province of Canterbury covers England I. Augustine, 597 to 605.

2. Lawrence (Laurentius), 605 to 619.

3. Mellitus, 619 to 624.

4. Justin, 624 to 627.

5. Honorius, 627 to 6J3.

Io. Nothelm, 734 to 740.

II. Cuthbert, 740 to 758.

12. Breogwine, 759 to 762.60.

13. Jaenberht, 763 to 790.

14. ZEthelhard, 790 to 803.61.

15. Wulfred, 803 to 829.

16. Fleogild, 829 to 830.62.

17. Ceolnoth, 830 to 870.1443.

18. Æthelred, 870 to 889.63. John Stafford, 1443 to 1452.

20.1Ethelm, 914 to 923.

19. Plegemund, 889 to 914.64. John Kemp, 1452 to 1454 65. Thomas Bourchier, 1454 to 21. Wulfelm, 923 to 942.1486.

66. John Morton, 1486 to 1500.

22. Odo, 942 to 959 67. Henry Dean (Dene), 1501 to 23. fElsine, 959.

24. Dunstan, 960 to 988.1503.

William Warham, 1503 to 25. ZEthelgar, 988 to 989.68.

26. Sigeric, 990 to 994.1532.

69. Thomas Cranmer, 1533 to 27. lEelfric, 995 to 1005.

28. Alphege (iElfeah), 1005 to 1556.

70. Reginald Pole, 1556 to 1558.1012.

71. Matthew Parker, 1559 to 29. Lyfing, 1013 to 1020.

30. ZEthelnoth, 1020 to 1038.1575.

72. Edmund Grindal, 1575 to 31. Eadsige, 1038 to 1050.

32. Robert of Jumieges, 1051 to 1583.

73. John Whitgift, 1583 to 1604.1052.74. Richard Bancroft, 1604 to 33. Stigand, 1052 to 1070.

34. Lanfranc, 1070 to 1089.1610.

George Abbot, 1610 to 1633.

35. Anselm, 1093 to 110 9.75. William Laud, 1633 to 1645.

36. Ralph de Turbine, 1114 to 76. William Juxon, 1660 to 1663.1122.77.

Gilbert Sheldon, 1663 to 37. William de Corbeuil (Cur78.

bellio), 1123 to 1136.1677.

79. William Sancroft, 1678 to 38. Theobald, 1 139 to 1161.1691.

39. Thomas Becket, I 162 to 1170.80. John Tillotson, 1691 to 1694.

40. Richard, 1174 to 1184.81. Thomas Tenison, 1694 to 41. Baldwin, 1185 to 1190.

42. Reginald Fitz-Jocelyn, 1191.1715.

am Wa k e, 1716 to 1737 43. Hubert Walter, 1193 to 1205.82. John Potter, 1737 to 1747 44. Stephen Langton, 1207 to 83. Thomas Herring, 1747 to 1228.84.

45. Richard Wethershed, 1229 1757.

Matthew Hutton, 1757 to to 1231.85.

46. EdmundRich (deAbbendon) 1758.

Thomas Secker, 1758 to 1234 to 1240.86.

47. Boniface of Savoy, 1241 to 1768.

Frederick Cornwallis, 1768 1270.87.

48. Robert Kilwa.rdby, 1273 to to 1783.

John Moore, 1783 to 1805.1278.88. Charles Manners-Sutton, 49. John Peckham, 1279 to 1292.89.

50. Robert Winchelsea, 1293 to 1805 to 1828.

William Howley, 1828 to 51. Walter Reynolds, 1313 to 90.1848.

John Bird Sumner, 1848 to 1327.91.1862.

52. Simon de Meopham, 1328 to 92. Charles Thomas Longley, 1 3331862 to 1868.

53. John Stratford, 1333 to 1348.93. Archibald Campbell Tait, 54. John de Ufford, 1348 to 1349 55. Thomas Bradwardin, 1349.1868 to 1882.

94. Edward White Benson, 1882 56. Simon Islip, 1349 to 1366.

57. Simon Langham, 1366 to to 1896.

95. Frederick Temple, 1896 to 1368.

58. William Whittlesea, 1368 1903.

96. Randall Thomas Davidson. to 1374.

The archbishop has a seat at Lambeth Palace, London. There are fragments in Palace Street of the old archbishop's palace which have been incorporated with a modern palace.

Other Ecclesiastical Foundations. - Canterbury naturally abounded in religious foundations. The most important, apart from the cathedral, was the Benedictine abbey of St Augustine. This was erected on a site granted by King ZEthelberht outside his capital, in a tract called Longport. Augustine dedicated it to St Peter and St Paul, but Archbishop Dunstan added the sainted name of the founder to the dedication, and in common use it came to exclude those of the apostles. The site is now occupied by St Augustine's Missionary College, founded in 1844 when the property was acquired by A. J. B. Beresford Hope. Some ancient remnants are preserved, the principal being the entrance gateway (1300), with the cemetery gate, dated a century later, and the guest hall, now the refectory; but the scanty ruins of St Pancras' chapel are of high interest, and embody Roman material. The chapel is said to have received its dedication from St Augustine on account of the special association of St Pancras with children, and in connexion with the famous story of St Gregory, whose attention was first attracted to Britain 6. Deusdedit (Frithona), 655 to 664.

7. Theodore, 668 to 690.

8. Brethwald (Berhtuald), 693 to 7 3 1.

9. Taetwine, 7 3 1 to 734 Monastic the monastic buildings there may be mentioned the buildings. g y Province and Wales south of Cheshire and Yorkshire; and the and diocese. diocese covers a great part of Kent with a small part of Sussex. The following is a list of archbishops of Canterbury: 59.

Simon Sudbury, 1375 to 1381.

William Courtenay, 1381 to 1396.

Thomas Arundel, 1396 to 1414.

Henry Chicheley, 1414 to when he saw the fair-faced children of the Angles who had been brought to Rome, and termed them "not Angles but angels." There were lesser houses of many religious orders in Canterbury, but only two, those of the Dominicans near St Peter's church in St Peter's Street, and the Franciscans, also in St Peter's Street, have left notable remains. The Dominican refectory is used as a chapel. Among the many churches, St Martin's, Longport, is of the first interest. This was the scene of the earliest work of Augustine in Canterbury, and had seen Christian service before his arrival. Its walls contain Roman masonry, but whether it is in part a genuine remnant of a Romano-British Christian church is open to doubt. There are Norman, Early English and later portions; and the font may be in part preNorman, and is indeed associated by tradition with the baptism of IEthelberht himself. St Mildred's church exhibits Early English and Perpendicular work, and the use of Roman material is again visible here. St Paul's is of Early English origin; St Dunstan's, St Peter's and Holy Cross are mainly Decorated and Perpendicular. The village of Harbledown, on the hill west of Canterbury on the London road, from the neighbourhood of which a beautiful view over the city is obtained, has many associations with the ecclesiastical life of Canterbury. It is mentioned by Chaucer in his pilgrimage under the name, appropriate to its site, of "Bob up and down." The almshouses, which occupy the site of Lanfranc's hospital for lepers, include an ancient hall and a chapel in which the west door and northern nave arcade are Norman, and are doubtless part of Lanfranc's buildings. The neighbouring parish church is in great part rebuilt. Among the numerous charitable institutions in Canterbury there are several which may be called the descendants of medieval ecclesiastical foundations.

City Buildings, &c. - The old city walls may be traced, and the public walk called the Dane John (derived probably from donjon) follows the summit of a high artificial mound within the lines. The cathedral is finely seen from this point. Only the massive turreted west gate, of the later part of the 14th century, remains out of the former six city gates. The site of the castle is not far from the Dane John, and enough remains of the Norman keep to show its strength and great size. Among other buildings and institutions there may be mentioned the guildhall in High Street, of the early part of the 18th century; the museum, which includes a fine collection of local, including many Roman, relics; and the school of art, under municipal management, but founded by the painter T. Sidney Cooper (d. 1902), who was a resident at Harbledown. A modern statue of a muse commemorates the poet Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593), a native of the city; and a pillar indicates the place where a number of persons were burnt at the stake in the reign of Mary.

The King's school, occupying buildings adjacent to the cathedral, developed out of the early teaching furnished by the monastery. It was refounded by Henry VIII. in 1541 (whence its name), and is managed on the lines of ordinary public schools. It has about 250 boys; and there is besides a junior or preparatory school. The school is still connected with the ecclesiastical foundation, the dean and chapter being its governors.

A noted occasion of festivity in Canterbury is the Canterbury cricket-week, when the Kent county cricket eleven engages in matches with other first-class teams, and many visitors are attracted to the city.

Canterbury has a considerable agriculture trade, breweries, tanneries, brickworks and other manufactures. The parliamentary borough returns one member. The city is governed by a mayor, 6 aldermen and 18 councillors. Area, 3955 acres.

History of the City. - The existence of a Romano-British town on the site of Canterbury has already been indicated. It was named Durovernum, and was a flourishing county town on the road from the Kentish ports to London. Mosaic pavements and other remains have been found in considerable abundance. The city, known by the Saxons as Cantwaraburh, the town of the men of Kent, was the metropolis of iEthelberht's kingdom. At the time of the Domesday survey Canterbury formed part of the royal demesne and was governed by a portreeve as it had been before the Conquest. In the 13th and 14th centuries, two bailiffs presided over the burghmote, assisted by a larger and smaller council. Henry II., by an undated charter, confirmed former privileges and granted to the citizens that no one should implead them outside the city walls and that the pleas of the crown should be decided according to the customs of the city. In 1256 Henry III. granted them the city at an annual fee farm of 60, also the right of electing their bailiffs. Confirmations of former charters with additional liberties were granted by later sovereigns, and Henry VI. incorporated Canterbury, which he called "one of our most ancient cities," under the style of the mayor and commonalty, the mayor to be elected by the burgesses. James I. in 1609 confirmed these privileges, giving the burgesses the right to be called a body corporate and to elect twelve aldermen and a common council of twenty-four. Charles II., after calling in the charters of corporations, granted a confirmation in 1684. Canterbury was first represented in parliament in 1283, and it continued to return two members until 1885, when the number was reduced to one. A fair was granted by Henry VI. to the citizens to be held in the city or suburbs on the 4th of August and the two days following; other fairs were in the hands of the monasteries; the corn and cattle markets and a general market have been held by prescription from time immemorial. Canterbury was a great centre of the silk-weaving trade in the 17th century, large numbers of Walloons, driven by persecution to England, having settled there in the reign of Elizabeth. In 1676 Charles II. granted a charter of incorporation to the Walloon congregation under style of the master, wardens and fellowship of weavers in the city of Canterbury. The market for the sale of corn and hops was regulated by a local act in 1801.

See A. P. Stanley, Historical Memorials of Canterbury (London, 1855); J. Brent, Canterbury in the Olden Time (Canterbury, 1879); J. W. Legg and W. H. St J. Hope, Inventories of Christchurch, Canterbury (London, 1902); Victoria County History, Kent.

<< Charles Manners-Sutton Canterbury

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




Old English Cantwaraburh.


Proper noun




  1. An ancient city in Kent, England


See also

Simple English

File:Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury is a city in Kent, England. It lies about 60 miles from London. It was made famous by a story by Geoffrey Chaucer called The Canterbury Tales. It is also famous for its own Canterbury Cathedral, and as the town where Thomas Becket was assassinated.

There are two railway stations in the city: Canterbury East and Canterbury West. The A2 road passes near the city: it goes to London to the west and Dover to the south-east.

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