Canterbury Tales Exhibition
Recreating the sights (and smells) of 14th century England, this
fascinating exhibition tells some of Geoffrey Chaucer's best-loved
stories - some of the earliest works in English fiction - through a
range of audio and visual displays.
Westgate Tower Museum
The largest surviving city gate in England, the Westgate Tower
tells the story of its time as a city fortification and later as a
prison. It also offers wonderful views over the cathedral and the
The extraordinary cathedral in Canterbury is not only the
centrepiece of the city's UNESCO World Heritage site, but also the
magnificent mother church of the Church of England - with a rich
history spanning more than 1400 years. The cathedral was founded in
597 by St Augustine, when Christianity was still a new and
relatively unknown concept amongst the Anglo-Saxons. It was in the
cathedral that Christianity got its first real foothold in England,
and before long even kings of the realm attended services here.
Successive leaders and groups altered and extended the building,
and there are now many impressive features along with a few of the
original remaining ones. Of course, the Canterbury Cathedral boasts
many wonderful relics and monuments relating to its religious
history, but it is also famous for one particular violent incident.
On 29th December 1170, the Archbishop of Canterbury - and King
Henry II's former favourite - Thomas Beckett was murdered in the
cathedral by some of the king's knights. Beckett was rapidly
canonised, becoming a saint in 1173.
This, along with tales of miracles and cures occurring,
catapulted Canterbury Cathedral to the forefront of pilgrimage
destinations. Even today, more than 800 years after the murder,
there is still a single flickering candle marking the spot. As the
seat of the Archbishop, also known as the principal leader of the
Church of England and the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican
Communion, its importance in England's social and historical as
well as spiritual development cannot be overestimated. The
cathedral also has an immense wealth of stained glass windows -
most of which date back to the 12th and 13th century. With such an
important history and so many fascinating objects to be seen,
Canterbury Cathedral continues to attract pilgrims and tourists
alike from all over the world.