"A Tale of a Cathedral? It's Canterbury." Top 5 Page for this destination Canterbury by planxty

Canterbury Travel Guide: 498 reviews and 1,058 photos

So much history.

Canterbury is an important place in many ways. It is the county town of Kent (one of the largest English counties), it is the spiritual home of the Anglican faith, and it has an absolute wealth of history.

Man was certainly here in prehistoric times, followed in turn by the Romans. Julius Caesar and his army came here in the first century B.C., but soon left again. Other Romans returned in 43 A.D. and established a settlement.

The Romans, in their turn, were superceded by the various Continental tribes who invaded Britain, and the town fell into ruins.

Eventually, in the late 6th century, St. Augustine arrived here, and began converting people to Christianity, thus beginning an association with that religion which leads to the Archbishop of Canterbury today being the foremost Anglican cleric in the world.

After a period of Viking raids in the late 10th and early 11th centuries, the next major event was the invasion by the Normans in 1066. Under Norman control, the religious aspect of the town flourished, as indeed did the town itself.

The famous martyrdon of Thomas a Becket in 1171 ensured that the place became one of pilgrimage and further increased its religious significance although war and plague both took their toll on Canterbury subsequently.

During the 16th century, Canterbury changed considerably. Henry VIII's famous argument with the Church led to the Dissolution of most religious orders in England, and Canterbury was no exception. Henry was suceeded by Mary, and the established Church returned.

The religious turmoil in Europe at this time led to another "invasion", this time of Protestants from the mainland.

The English Civil War saw yet more disturbance in the City, with much destruction. This was put right after the Restoration of Charles II.

Canterbury continued to grow slowly, and also became something of a military town.

During the Second World War, German bombing led to serious destruction and the loss of many of the historic buildings.

Today, it is well and truly on the tourist map of England, and is definitely worth a visit.

  • Last visit to Canterbury: Sep 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (15)

Comments (12)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    May 18, 2015 at 2:29 PM

    Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote/The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,/And bathed every veyne in swich licour/Of which vertu engendred is the flour/Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth/Inspired hath in every hold and heeth...

  • wroclawiak's Profile Photo
    Apr 10, 2007 at 12:33 PM

    I am going to visit Canterbury this year and your tips help me to plan a day trip from London. Thanks. By the way, I love walking along rivers too but what about kayaking?

  • adelaidean's Profile Photo
    Jan 24, 2007 at 2:13 AM

    I have visited Canterbury on both my visits to the UK...and I must say I just love the place!!! Great pages Fergi

  • jo104's Profile Photo
    Sep 19, 2006 at 6:04 AM

    Thanks for all these usefull tips I am planning to do a daytrip in October

  • josephescu's Profile Photo
    Sep 9, 2006 at 12:02 AM

    Canterbury was my first UK destination about 8 years ago, and the walk in Westgate park along the river still remains one my fondest memories of that trip.

  • Jefie's Profile Photo
    Aug 4, 2006 at 5:46 AM

    As you would have guessed, I have read the Canterbury Tales and after visiting your page, I'm definitely adding Canterbury to my itinerary next time I'm in England!

  • eledhwen's Profile Photo
    Jul 9, 2006 at 8:41 AM

    Thank you very much for the birthday wishes. Your Canterbury page is very interesting, I have not seen that much of the town, hopefuly next time :-)

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    May 27, 2006 at 1:03 AM

    Wish I had had more free time in Canterbury, would have liked to see much more than the Cathedral (which was great I admit). Thanks for the wonderful virtual tour!

  • whitecliff62's Profile Photo
    Apr 8, 2006 at 8:20 PM

    Great to see other Cant pages, theres not that many on v.t really, all the best Cliff

  • Jan 14, 2006 at 2:33 AM

    Hi Fergy, Thank you for the enouragement re: my pages. I am also still trying to get used to it!:) Iike your Canterbury Page. Have a great weekend.


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