Canterbury Cathedral has a tradition of visitor welcome that reaches back to the days of medieval pilgrimage. To all visitors we extend a warm welcome and hope that they too will enjoy sharing with us the beauty of one of the great holy places of Christendom.
Canterbury Cathedral, together with St Augustine’s Abbey and St Martin’s Church make up Canterbury’s World Heritage Site.
The Cathedral and its history
St Augustine, sent by Pope Gregory the Great, arrived in 597AD as a missionary and became the first Archbishop, establishing his seat (or ‘Cathedra’) in Canterbury. In 1170 Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in the Cathedral and ever since, the Cathedral has attracted thousands of pilgrims, as told most famously in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
The Cathedral houses a Romanesque Crypt, dating back to the 11th century, a 12th century early Gothic Quire and a 14th Century Perpendicular Nave. Beautiful medieval stained glass windows illustrate miracles and stories associated with St Thomas.