Canterbury (/ˈkæntərbəri/ (listen), /-bɛri/) is a historic English cathedral city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated in the heart of the City of Canterbury, a local government district of Kent, England. It lies on the River Stour.
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the primate of the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion owing to the importance of St Augustine, who served as the apostle to the pagan Kingdom of Kent around the turn of the 7th century. The city's cathedral became a major focus of pilgrimage following the 1170 martyrdom of Thomas Becket, although it had already been a well-trodden pilgrim destination since the murder of St Alphege by the men of King Canute in 1012. A journey of pilgrims to Becket's shrine served as the frame for Geoffrey Chaucer's 14th century classic The Canterbury Tales.
Canterbury is a popular tourist destination: consistently one of the most-visited cities in the United Kingdom, the city's economy is heavily reliant upon tourism. The city has been occupied since Paleolithic times and served as the capital of the Celtic Cantiaci and Jute Kingdom of Kent. Many historical structures fill the area, 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 the oldest extant school in the world, the King's School. Modern additions include the Marlowe Theatre and the St Lawrence Ground, home of the Kent County Cricket Club. There is also a substantial student population, brought about by the presence of the University of Kent, Canterbury Christ Church University, the University for the Creative Arts, and the Girne American University Canterbury campus. Canterbury remains, however, a small city in terms of geographical size and population, when compared with other British cities.
Canterbury lies on the River Great Stour
Arms of Canterbury
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|• London||54 miles (87 km)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Ambulance||South East Coast|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
The Roman settlement of Durovernum Cantiacorum ("Kentish Durovernum") occupied the location of an earlier British town whose ancient British name has been reconstructed as *Durou̯ernon ("stronghold by the alder grove"), although the name is sometimes supposed to have derived from various British names for the Stour. (Medieval variants of the Roman name include Dorobernia and Dorovernia.) In Sub-Roman Britain, it was known in Old Welsh as Cair Ceint ("stronghold of Kent"). Occupied by the Jutes, it became known in Old English as Cantwareburh ("stronghold of the Kentish men"), which developed into the present name.
The Canterbury area has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Lower Paleolithic axes, and Neolithic and Bronze Age pots have been found in the area. Canterbury was first recorded as the main settlement of the Celtic tribe of the Cantiaci, which inhabited most of modern-day Kent. In the 1st century AD, the Romans captured the settlement and named it Durovernum Cantiacorum. The Romans rebuilt the city, with new streets in a grid pattern, a theatre, a temple, a forum, and public baths. Although they did not maintain a major military garrison, its position on Watling Street relative to the major Kentish ports of Rutupiae (Richborough), Dubrae (Dover), and Lemanae (Lymne) gave it considerable strategic importance. In the late 3rd century, to defend against attack from barbarians, the Romans built an earth bank around the city and a wall with seven gates, which enclosed an area of 130 acres (53 ha).
Despite being counted as one of the 28 cities of Sub-Roman Britain, it seems that after the Romans left Britain in 410 Durovernum Cantiacorum was abandoned for around 100 years, except by a few farmers and gradually decayed. Over the next 100 years, an Anglo-Saxon community formed within the city walls, as Jutish refugees arrived, possibly intermarrying with the locals. In 597, Pope Gregory the Great sent Augustine to convert its King Æthelberht to Christianity. After the conversion, Canterbury, being a Roman town, was chosen by Augustine as the centre for his episcopal see in Kent, and an abbey and cathedral were built. Augustine thus became the first Archbishop of Canterbury. 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. In 672, the Synod of Hertford gave the see of Canterbury authority over the entire English Church.
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. The Siege of Canterbury saw a large Viking army besiege Canterbury in 1011, culminating in the city being pillaged and the eventual murder of Archbishop Alphege in 19 April 1012. Remembering the destruction caused by the Danes, the inhabitants of Canterbury did not resist William the Conqueror's invasion in 1066. 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.
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. This pilgrimage provided the framework for Geoffrey Chaucer's 14th-century collection of stories, The Canterbury Tales. Canterbury Castle was captured by the French Prince Louis during his 1215 invasion of England, before the death of John caused his English supporters to desert his cause and support the young Henry III.
Canterbury is associated with several saints from this period who lived in Canterbury:
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. In 1381, during Wat Tyler's 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. 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. 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.
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.
By 1770, the castle had fallen into disrepair, and many parts of it were demolished during the late 18th century and early 19th century. 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. Canterbury Prison was opened in 1808 just outside the city boundary. By 1820 the city's silk industry had been killed by imported Indian muslins; its trade was thereafter mostly limited to hops and wheat. The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway, the world's first passenger railway, was opened in 1830; bankrupt by 1844, it was purchased by the South Eastern Railway, which connected the town to its larger network in 1846. The London, Chatham, and Dover arrived in 1860; the competition and cost-cutting between the lines was resolved by merging them as the South Eastern and Chatham in 1899. In 1848, St Augustine's Abbey was refurbished for use as a missionary college for the Church of England's representatives in the British colonies. Between 1830 and 1900, the city's population grew from 15,000 to 24,000.
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 missionary college and Simon Langton Girls' Grammar Schools, and 115 people were killed. The most devastating raid was on 1 June 1942 during the Baedeker Blitz. On that day alone, 43 people were killed and nearly 100 sustained wounds. Some 800 buildings were destroyed with 1,000 seriously damaged. Although its library was destroyed, the cathedral did not sustain extensive bomb damage and the local Fire Wardens doused any flames on the wooden roof.
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. Rebuilding of the city centre eventually began 10 years after the war. A ring road was constructed in stages outside the city walls some time afterwards to alleviate growing traffic problems in the city centre, which was later pedestrianised. The biggest expansion of the city occurred in the 1960s, with the arrival of the University of Kent at Canterbury and Christ Church College.
The 1980s saw visits from Pope John Paul II and Queen Elizabeth II, and the beginning of the annual Canterbury Festival. 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, which was supported by Channel Four's Time Team.
The extensive restoration of the cathedral that was underway in mid 2018 was part of a 2016-2021 schedule that includes replacement of the nave roof, improved landscaping and accessibility, new visitor facilities and a general external restoration. The so-called Canterbury Journey project was expected to cost nearly £25 million.
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, Blean Forest, Northgate, St Stephens, Westgate, and Wincheap. These wards have eleven of the fifty seats on the Canterbury City Council. Six of these seats are held by the Liberal Democrats, four by the Conservatives and one by Labour.
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.
Canterbury is 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 through 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 and rowed river boats 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.
Canterbury experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb), similar to almost all of the United Kingdom. Canterbury enjoys mild temperatures all year round, being between 1.8 °C (35.2 °F) and 22.8 °C (73 °F). There is relatively little rainfall throughout the year.
|2001 UK Census||Canterbury city||Canterbury district||England|
At the 2001 UK census, C the total population of the city's urban area wards was 43,432, with 135,278 within the Canterbury district. In 2011, the total district population was counted as 151,200, with an 11.7% increase from 2001.
By 2011, the population of the city had grown to over 55,000.
For 2001, residents of the city had an average age of 37.1 years, younger than the 40.2 average of 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|
|Source: A Vision of Britain through Time|
Canterbury district retained approximately 4,761 businesses, up to 60,000 full and part-time employees and was worth £1.3 billion in 2001. This made the district the second largest economy in Kent. Today, the three primary sectors are tourism, higher education and retail.
In 2015, the value of tourism to the city of Canterbury was over £450 million; 7.2 million people visited that year. A full 9,378 jobs were supported by tourism, and increase of 6% over the previous year. The two universities provided an even greater benefit. In 2014/2015, the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University were worth £909m to city's economy and accounted for 16% of all jobs.
Unemployment in the city has dropped significantly since 2001 owing to the opening of the Whitefriars shopping complex which introduced thousands of job opportunities. In April 2008, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, controversially made a strong speech arguing that salary caps should be implemented to curb the pay of the rich in an attempt to manage the growth of the economy. 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.
The registered unemployment rate as of September 2011 stood at 5.7%. By May 2018, the rate had dropped to 1.8%; in fact, Kent in general had a moderate unemployment rate of 2%. This data considers only people claiming either Jobseekers Allowance or Universal Credit principally for the reason of being unemployed. It does not include those without access to such benefits. At the time, the national rate was 4.2%.
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.
The Roman Museum houses an in situ mosaic pavement dating from around 300 AD. 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. The Dane John Gardens were built beside the mound in the 18th century, and a memorial was placed on the mound's summit. 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 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, 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, however there are far fewer than there were before the Second World War, as many were damaged during the Baedeker Blitz. Many are still standing, including the "Old Weaver's House" used by the Huguenots. 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. St Thomas of Canterbury Church is the only Roman Catholic church in the city and contains relics of Thomas Becket.
Canterbury Heritage Museum housed many exhibits - including the Rupert Bear Museum. The museum has now closed despite campaigning to keep the museum open. Herne Bay Times has reported that the Heritage at Risk Register includes 19 listed buildings in Canterbury which need urgent repair but for which the council has insufficient funds.
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. The old Marlowe Theatre was located in St Margaret's Street and housed a repertory theatre. The Gulbenkian Theatre, at the University of Kent, also serves the city, housing also a cinema and café. The Marlowe Theatre was completely rebuilt and reopened in October 2011.
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.
The oldest surviving Tudor theatre in Canterbury is now the Shakespeare, formerly known as Casey's. There are several theatre groups based in Canterbury, including the University of Kent Students' Union's T24 Drama Society, The Canterbury Players and Kent Youth Theatre.
The redeveloped Marlowe Theatre is (at the time of writing) the largest theatre in the region, offering touring productions and concerts. The programme includes musicals, drama, ballet, contemporary dance, classical orchestras, opera, children's shows, pantomime, stand-up comedy and concerts. There is also a second performance space called the Marlowe Studio, dedicated to creative activity and the programming of new work. The Marlowe Theatre can be seen from many points throughout the city centre, considering it is the only modern and tall structure.
Polyphonic music written for the monks of Christ Church Priory (the cathedral) survives from the 13th century. The cathedral may have had an organ as early as the 12th century, though the names of organists are only recorded from the early 15th century. 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 17th 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.
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. 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.
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).
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 established within the city during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Some very notable Canterbury bands were Soft Machine, Caravan, Matching Mole, Egg, Hatfield and the North, National Health, Gilgamesh, Soft Heap, Khan, Camel and In Cahoots. 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. During the 1970-80's the Canterbury 'Odeon' now the site of the 'New Marlow' played host to many of the Punk and new wave bands of the era including, The Clash, The Ramones, Blondie, Sham69, Magazine, XTC, Dr Feelgood, Elvis Costello and The Attractions, and The Stranglers.
The University of Kent has hosted concerts by bands including Led Zeppelin and The Who. During the late seventies and early eighties the Canterbury Odeon hosted a number of major acts, including The Cure and Joy Division. The Marlowe Theatre is also used for many musical performances, such as Don McLean in 2007, and Fairport Convention in 2008. 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. The Canterbury Orchestra, founded in 1953, is a thriving group of enthusiastic players who regularly tackle major works from the symphonic repertoire. Other musical groups include the Canterbury Singers (also founded in 1953), Cantemus, and the City of Canterbury Chamber Choir. The University of Kent has a Symphony Orchestra, a University Choir, a Chamber Choir, and a University Concert Band and Big Band.
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. Canterbury also hosts the annual Lounge On The Farm festival in July, which mainly sees performances from rock, indie and dance artists.
The reggae/ska musician Judge Dread played his last gig at the Penny Theatre. His final words were "Let's hear it for the band." He then went offstage, suffered a major heart attack and died, despite help from both ambulance crews and the audience.
Composers with an association with Canterbury include
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.
Canterbury City F.C. reformed in 2007 as a community interest company and currently compete in the Southern Counties East Football League. The previous incarnation of the club folded in 2001. Canterbury RFC were founded in 1926 and became the first East Kent club to achieve National League status and currently play in the fourth tier, National League 2 South.
Canterbury Hockey Club is one of the largest clubs in the country and enter teams in both the Men's and Women's England Hockey Leagues.  Former Olympic gold medal winner Sean Kerly also a member of the club.
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.
Canterbury was the terminus of the Canterbury & Whitstable Railway (known locally as the Crab and Winkle line) which was a pioneer line, opened on 3 May 1830, and closed in 1953. The Canterbury & Whitstable was the first regular passenger steam railway in the world. The first station in Canterbury was at North Lane.
Canterbury has two railway stations, called Canterbury West and Canterbury East (despite both stations being west of the city centre: Canterbury West is to the northwest and Canterbury East is to the southwest). Both stations are 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 by High Speed 1 trains to London St Pancras, slower stopping services to London Charing Cross and London 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 & Dover Railway on 9 July 1860. Services from London Victoria stop at Canterbury East and continue to Dover.
Canterbury used to be served by two other stations. North Lane station was the southern terminus of the Canterbury & Whitstable Railway between 1830 and 1846. Canterbury South was on the Elham Valley Railway, which opened in 1890 and closed in 1947.
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 by road. 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. In 2011 a third junction was constructed, linking the A28 to the northbound A2; this leaves just the A2 southbound exit missing, but since this would cut across the Park & Ride car park and meet the A28 at an already complicated junction, it is not expected to be added in the near term.
The hourly National Express 007 coach service to and from Victoria Coach Station, which leaves from the main bus station, is typically scheduled to take two hours. Eurolines coaches run from the bus station to London and Paris.
Stagecoach in East Kent runs most local bus routes in Canterbury as well as long distance services. The group runs a special 'Unibus' service, with the buses running on 100% bio fuel from the city centre to the University of Kent.
The city has an estimated 31,000 students (the highest student/permanent resident ratio in the UK)  as it is home to three 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.
The University of Kent's main campus is situated over 600 acres (243 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 2014, it had around 20,000 students.
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.
The University 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, 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 the King's School, the oldest in the United Kingdom. St. Augustine established a school shortly after his arrival in Canterbury in 597, and it is from this that the King’s School grew. 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. The Kings School in Canterbury is one of the top public schools in the United Kingdom, regularly featuring in the top ten most expensive school fees lists.
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. The non-selective state secondary schools are The Canterbury High School, St Anselm's Catholic School and the Church of England's Archbishop's 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.
Canterbury's first newspaper was the Kentish Post, founded in 1717. It changed its name to the Kentish Gazette in 1768 and is still being published, claiming to be the country's second oldest surviving newspaper. 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.
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. The Canterbury Extra is owned by the KM Group and also has a circulation of about 55,000. 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.
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. Previously based in the city, the station's studios and presenters were moved to Ashford in 2008.
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. 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, and Simon Langton Boys School has a radio station, SLBSLive, which can only be picked up on the school grounds. The City receives BBC One South East and ITV Meridian from the main transmitter at Dover, and a local relay situated at Chartham.
People born in Canterbury include:
Notable alumni of the University of Kent include:
Canterbury is twinned with the following cities:
City to city partnership
An Mw 6.2 earthquake occurred in Christchurch on 22 February 2011 at 12:51 p.m. local time (23:51 UTC, 21 February). The earthquake struck the Canterbury Region in New Zealand's South Island and was centred two kilometres (1.2 mi) west of the port town of Lyttelton, and 10 kilometres (6 mi) south-east of the centre of Christchurch, at the time New Zealand's second-most populous city. The earthquake caused widespread damage across Christchurch, killing 185 people in the nation's fifth-deadliest disaster.
Christchurch's central city and eastern suburbs were badly affected, with damage to buildings and infrastructure already weakened by the magnitude 7.1 Canterbury earthquake of 4 September 2010 and its aftershocks. Significant liquefaction affected the eastern suburbs, producing around 400,000 tonnes of silt. The earthquake was felt across the South Island and parts of the lower and central North Island. While the initial quake only lasted for approximately 10 seconds, the damage was severe because of the location and shallowness of the earthquake's focus in relation to Christchurch as well as previous quake damage. Subsequent population loss saw the Christchurch main urban area fall behind the Wellington equivalent to decrease from second to third most populous area in New Zealand.Anselm of Canterbury
Anselm of Canterbury (; 1033/4–1109), also called Anselm of Aosta (Italian: Anselmo d'Aosta) after his birthplace and Anselm of Bec (French: Anselme du Bec) after his monastery, was an Italian Benedictine monk, abbot, philosopher and theologian of the Catholic Church, who held the office of archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109. After his death, he was canonized as a saint; his feast day is 21 April.
Beginning at Bec, Anselm composed dialogues and treatises with a rational and philosophical approach, sometimes causing him to be credited as the founder of Scholasticism. Despite his lack of recognition in this field in his own time, Anselm is now famed as the originator of the ontological argument for the existence of God and of the satisfaction theory of atonement. He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by a bull of Pope Clement XI in 1720.
As archbishop, he defended the church's interests in England amid the Investiture Controversy. For his resistance to the English kings William II and Henry I, he was exiled twice: once from 1097 to 1100 and then from 1105 to 1107. While in exile, he helped guide the Greek bishops of southern Italy to adopt Roman rites at the Council of Bari. He worked for the primacy of Canterbury over the bishops of York and Wales but, though at his death he appeared to have been successful, Pope Paschal II later reversed himself and restored York's independence.Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. The current archbishop is Justin Welby, who was enthroned at Canterbury Cathedral on 21 March 2013. Welby is the 105th in a line which goes back more than 1400 years to Augustine of Canterbury, the "Apostle to the English", sent from Rome in the year 597. Welby succeeded Rowan Williams.From the time of Augustine until the 16th century, the archbishops of Canterbury were in full communion with the See of Rome and usually received the pallium from the Pope. During the English Reformation, the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope. Thomas Cranmer became the first holder of the office following the English Reformation in 1533, while Reginald Pole was the last Roman Catholic in the position, serving from 1556 to 1558 during the Counter-Reformation. In the Middle Ages there was considerable variation in the methods of nomination of the Archbishop of Canterbury and other bishops. At various times the choice was made by the canons of Canterbury Cathedral, the Pope, or the King of England. Since the English Reformation, the Church of England has been more explicitly a state church and the choice is legally that of the Crown; today it is made by the reigning monarch on the advice of the British prime minister, who in turn receives a shortlist of two names from an ad hoc committee called the Crown Nominations Commission.Augustine of Canterbury
Augustine of Canterbury (born first third of the 6th century – died probably 26 May 604) was a Benedictine monk who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 597. He is considered the "Apostle to the English" and a founder of the English Church.Augustine was the prior of a monastery in Rome when Pope Gregory the Great chose him in 595 to lead a mission, usually known as the Gregorian mission, to Britain to Christianize King Æthelberht and his Kingdom of Kent from Anglo-Saxon paganism. Kent was probably chosen because Æthelberht had married a Christian princess, Bertha, daughter of Charibert I the King of Paris, who was expected to exert some influence over her husband. Before reaching Kent, the missionaries had considered turning back, but Gregory urged them on, and in 597, Augustine landed on the Isle of Thanet and proceeded to Æthelberht's main town of Canterbury.
King Æthelberht converted to Christianity and allowed the missionaries to preach freely, giving them land to found a monastery outside the city walls. Augustine was consecrated as a bishop and converted many of the king's subjects, including thousands during a mass baptism on Christmas Day in 597. Pope Gregory sent more missionaries in 601, along with encouraging letters and gifts for the churches, although attempts to persuade the native British bishops to submit to Augustine's authority failed. Roman bishops were established at London, and Rochester in 604, and a school was founded to train Anglo-Saxon priests and missionaries. Augustine also arranged the consecration of his successor, Laurence of Canterbury. The archbishop probably died in 604 and was soon revered as a saint.Canterbury, New Zealand
Canterbury (Māori: Waitaha) is a region of New Zealand, located in the central-eastern South Island. The region covers an area of 44,508 square kilometres (17,185 sq mi), and is home to a population of 624,000 (June 2018).The region in its current form was established in 1989 during nationwide local government reforms. The Kaikoura District joined the region in 1992 following the abolition of the Nelson-Marlborough Regional Council.
Christchurch, the South Island's largest city and the country's third-largest urban area, is the seat of the region and home to 65 percent of the region's population. Other major towns and cities include Timaru, Ashburton, Rangiora and Rolleston.Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs are an Australian professional rugby league football club based in Belmore, a suburb in the Canterbury-Bankstown region of Sydney. They compete in the National Rugby League (NRL) premiership, as well as the New South Wales Rugby League junior competitions.
The club was admitted to the New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership, predecessor of the current NRL competition, in 1935. They won their first premiership in their fourth year of competition with another soon after, and after spending the 1950s and most of the 1960s on the lower rungs went through a very strong period in the 1980s, winning four premierships in that decade.
Known briefly in the 1990s as the Sydney Bulldogs, as a result of the Super League war the club competed in that competition in 1997 before changing their name to the geographically indistinct Bulldogs and continuing to play every season of the re-unified NRL, winning their most recent premiership in 2004. In 2012 the Bulldogs won the minor premiership, but lost to the Melbourne Storm 14–4 in the Grand Final, in October. In 2014 they came from 7th to make the Grand Final against the Rabbitohs, but lost 30-6.Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, Kent, is one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England. It forms part of a World Heritage Site. It is the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury, currently Justin Welby, leader of the Church of England and symbolic leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Its formal title is the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Christ at Canterbury.
Founded in 597, the cathedral was completely rebuilt between 1070 and 1077. The east end was greatly enlarged at the beginning of the 12th century, and largely rebuilt in the Gothic style following a fire in 1174, with significant eastward extensions to accommodate the flow of pilgrims visiting the shrine of Thomas Becket, the archbishop who was murdered in the cathedral in 1170. The Norman nave and transepts survived until the late 14th century, when they were demolished to make way for the present structures.
Before the English Reformation the cathedral was part of a Benedictine monastic community known as Christ Church, Canterbury, as well as being the seat of the archbishop.Canterbury Cup NSW
The Canterbury Cup NSW is a rugby league competition for clubs in New South Wales previously known as the Intrust Super Premiership, NSW New South Wales Cup, and NSWRL Premier League. It has a history dating back to the NSWRFL's origins in 1908, starting off as a reserve grade competition. It is now the premier open age competition in the state. The New South Wales Cup, along with the Queensland Cup, acts as a feeder competition to the National Rugby League premiership.
It is contested by reserve squads of NSW-based NRL teams and also includes sides representing teams that once competed at the first grade level in the NSWRL Premiership but do not field teams in the NRL competition. The North Sydney Bears are the only team to have competed in every season of the competition since 1908.Canterbury cricket team
Canterbury is a New Zealand First-class cricket team based in Canterbury, New Zealand. It is one of six teams that make up New Zealand Cricket and has been the second most successful domestic team in New Zealand history. They compete in the Plunket Shield First-class competition and the Ford Trophy one day competition. They also compete in the Burger King Super Smash competition as the Canterbury Kings.Christchurch
Christchurch (; Māori: Ōtautahi) is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the seat of the Canterbury Region. The Christchurch urban area lies on the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula. It is home to 404,500 residents, making it New Zealand's third-most populous city behind Auckland and Wellington. The Avon River flows through the centre of the city, with an urban park located along its banks.
Archaeological evidence has indicated that the Christchurch area was first settled by humans in about 1250. Christchurch became a city by Royal Charter on 31 July 1856, making it officially the oldest established city in New Zealand. The Canterbury Association, which settled the Canterbury Plains, named the city after Christ Church, Oxford. The new settlement was laid out in a grid pattern centred on Cathedral Square; during the 19th century there were few barriers to the rapid growth of the urban area, except for the Pacific to the east and the Port Hills to the south.
Agriculture is the historic mainstay of Christchurch's economy. The early presence of the University of Canterbury and the heritage of the city's academic institutions in association with local businesses has fostered a number of technology-based industries.
Christchurch is one of five 'gateway cities' for Antarctic exploration, hosting Antarctic support bases for several nations. The city suffered a series of earthquakes between September 2010 and early 2012, with the most destructive of them occurring at 12.51 p.m. on Tuesday, 22 February 2011, in which 185 people were killed and thousands of buildings across the city collapsed or suffered severe damage. By late 2013, 1,500 buildings in the city had been demolished, leading to an ongoing recovery and rebuilding project.Church of England
The Church of England (C of E) is the established church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior cleric, although the monarch is the supreme governor. The Church of England is also the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church recorded as existing in the Roman province of Britain by the third century, and to the 6th-century Gregorian mission to Kent led by Augustine of Canterbury.The English church renounced papal authority when Henry VIII failed to secure an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon in 1534. The English Reformation accelerated under Edward VI's regents, before a brief restoration of papal authority under Queen Mary I and King Philip. The Act of Supremacy 1558 renewed the breach, and the Elizabethan Settlement charted a course enabling the English church to describe itself as both catholic and reformed:
catholic in that it views itself as a part of the universal church of Jesus Christ in unbroken continuity with the early apostolic church. This is expressed in its emphasis on the teachings of the early Church Fathers, as formalised in the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian creeds.
reformed in that it has been shaped by some of the doctrinal principles of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation, in particular in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion and the Book of Common Prayer.In the earlier phase of the English Reformation there were both Catholic martyrs and radical Protestant martyrs. The later phases saw the Penal Laws punish Roman Catholic and nonconforming Protestants. In the 17th century, the Puritan and Presbyterian factions continued to challenge the leadership of the Church which under the Stuarts veered towards a more catholic interpretation of the Elizabethan Settlement especially under Archbishop Laud and the rise of the concept of Anglicanism as the via media. After the victory of the Parliamentarians the Prayer Book was abolished and the Presbyterian and Independent factions dominated. The Episcopacy was abolished. The Restoration restored the Church of England, episcopacy and the Prayer Book. Papal recognition of George III in 1766 led to greater religious tolerance.
Since the English Reformation, the Church of England has used a liturgy in English. The church contains several doctrinal strands, the main three known as Anglo-Catholic, Evangelical and Broad Church. Tensions between theological conservatives and progressives find expression in debates over the ordination of women and homosexuality. The church includes both liberal and conservative clergy and members.The governing structure of the church is based on dioceses, each presided over by a bishop. Within each diocese are local parishes. The General Synod of the Church of England is the legislative body for the church and comprises bishops, other clergy and laity. Its measures must be approved by both Houses of Parliament.Kent
Kent is a county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Greater London to the north-west, Surrey to the west and East Sussex to the south-west. The county also shares borders with Essex along the estuary of the River Thames (connected by land via High Speed 1 and the Dartford Crossing), and with the French department of Pas-de-Calais through the Channel Tunnel. The county town is Maidstone.
Canterbury Cathedral in Kent has been the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Church of England, since the Reformation. Prior to that it was built by Catholics, dating back to the conversion of England to Catholicism by Saint Augustine that began in the 6th century. Before the English Reformation the cathedral was part of a Benedictine monastic community known as Christ Church, Canterbury, as well as being the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury. The last Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury was Reginald Pole. Rochester Cathedral is also in Kent, in Medway. It is the second-oldest cathedral in England, with Canterbury Cathedral being the oldest. Between London and the Strait of Dover, which separates it from mainland Europe, Kent has seen both diplomacy and conflict, ranging from the Leeds Castle peace talks of 1978 and 2004 to the Battle of Britain in World War II.
England relied on the county's ports to provide warships through much of its history; the Cinque Ports in the 12th–14th centuries and Chatham Dockyard in the 16th–20th centuries were of particular importance. France can be seen clearly in fine weather from Folkestone and the White Cliffs of Dover. Hills in the form of the North Downs and the Greensand Ridge span the length of the county and in the series of valleys in between and to the south are most of the county's 26 castles.
Because of its relative abundance of fruit-growing and hop gardens, Kent is known as "The Garden of England".Kent's economy is greatly diversified; haulage, logistics, and tourism are major industries. In northwest Kent industries include extraction of aggregate building materials, printing and scientific research. Coal mining has also played its part in Kent's industrial heritage. Large parts of Kent are within the London commuter belt and its strong transport connections to the capital and the nearby continent makes Kent a high-income county. Twenty-eight per cent of the county forms part of two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: the North Downs and The High Weald.Orlando Bloom
Orlando Jonathan Blanchard Bloom (born 13 January 1977) is an English actor. After making his breakthrough as Legolas in The Lord of the Rings film series, he rose to fame by further appearing in epic fantasy, historical epic, and fantasy adventure films. He later reprised his role as Legolas in The Hobbit film series. His other roles include Will Turner in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, and Paris in Troy (2004).
Bloom subsequently established himself as a leading man in Hollywood films such as Balian de Ibelin in Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven (2005) and Elizabethtown (2005). He made his professional stage debut in West End's In Celebration at the Duke of York's Theatre in London in 2007 and starred in a Broadway adaption of Romeo and Juliet in 2013. In 2009, Bloom was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. In 2015 he received the BAFTA Britannia Humanitarian Award.Province of Canterbury
The Province of Canterbury, or less formally the Southern Province, is one of two ecclesiastical provinces which constitute the Church of England. The other is the Province of York (which consists of 12 dioceses). It consists of 30 dioceses, covering roughly two-thirds of England, parts of Wales, and the Channel Islands, with the remainder comprising continental Europe (under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe).
Between the years 787 and 803, a third province, (of) Lichfield, existed. In 1871, the Church of Ireland became autonomous. The Church in Wales was disestablished in 1920 and therefore was no longer the state church; it consists of six dioceses and is an ecclesiastical province of the Anglican Communion.
The province's metropolitan bishop is the Archbishop of Canterbury who also oversees the Falkland Islands, an extraprovincial parish. The Church of Ceylon - Anglican Church in Sri Lanka has two dioceses - the Diocese of Colombo and the Diocese of Kurunegala which are extraprovincial dioceses under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury.The Canterbury Tales
The Canterbury Tales (Middle English: Tales of Caunterbury) is a collection of 24 stories that runs to over 17,000 lines written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer between 1387 and 1400. In 1386, Chaucer became Controller of Customs and Justice of Peace and, in 1389, Clerk of the King's work. It was during these years that Chaucer began working on his most famous text, The Canterbury Tales. The tales (mostly written in verse, although some are in prose) are presented as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together from London to Canterbury to visit the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The prize for this contest is a free meal at the Tabard Inn at Southwark on their return.
After a long list of works written earlier in his career, including Troilus and Criseyde, House of Fame, and Parliament of Fowls, The Canterbury Tales is near-unanimously seen as Chaucer's magnum opus. He uses the tales and descriptions of its characters to paint an ironic and critical portrait of English society at the time, and particularly of the Church. Chaucer's use of such a wide range of classes and types of people was without precedent in English. Although the characters are fictional, they still offer a variety of insights into customs and practices of the time. Often, such insight leads to a variety of discussions and disagreements among people in the 14th century. For example, although various social classes are represented in these stories and all of the pilgrims are on a spiritual quest, it is apparent that they are more concerned with worldly things than spiritual. Structurally, the collection resembles Giovanni Boccaccio's The Decameron, which Chaucer may have read during his first diplomatic mission to Italy in 1372.
It has been suggested that the greatest contribution of The Canterbury Tales to English literature was the popularisation of the English vernacular in mainstream literature, as opposed to French, Italian or Latin. English had, however, been used as a literary language centuries before Chaucer's time, and several of Chaucer's contemporaries—John Gower, William Langland, the Pearl Poet, and Julian of Norwich—also wrote major literary works in English. It is unclear to what extent Chaucer was seminal in this evolution of literary preference.
While Chaucer clearly states the addressees of many of his poems, the intended audience of The Canterbury Tales is more difficult to determine. Chaucer was a courtier, leading some to believe that he was mainly a court poet who wrote exclusively for nobility.
The Canterbury Tales is generally thought to have been incomplete at the end of Chaucer's life. In the General Prologue, some 30 pilgrims are introduced. According to the Prologue, Chaucer's intention was to write four stories from the perspective of each pilgrim, two each on the way to and from their ultimate destination, St. Thomas Becket's shrine (making for a total of about 120 stories). Although perhaps incomplete, The Canterbury Tales is revered as one of the most important works in English literature. It is also open to a wide range of interpretations.The King's School, Canterbury
The King's School is a 13–18 mixed, independent, day and boarding school in Canterbury, Kent, England. It is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference and the Eton Group. It is held to be the oldest continuously operating school in the world, having been founded in 597 AD. It is a British public school.Thomas Becket
Thomas Becket (), also known as Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Thomas of London and later Thomas à Becket (21 December c. 1119 (or 1120) – 29 December 1170), was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170. He is venerated as a saint and martyr by both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. He engaged in conflict with Henry II, King of England, over the rights and privileges of the Church and was murdered by followers of the king in Canterbury Cathedral. Soon after his death, he was canonised by Pope Alexander III.University of Canterbury
The University of Canterbury (Māori: Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha; postnominal abbreviation Cantuar. or Cant. for Cantuariensis, the Latin name for Canterbury) is New Zealand's second oldest university (after the University of Otago, itself founded four years earlier in 1869).
It was founded in 1873 as Canterbury College, the first constituent college of the University of New Zealand. Its original campus was in the Christchurch Central City, but in 1961 it became an independent university and began moving out of its original neo-gothic buildings, which were re-purposed as the Christchurch Arts Centre. The move was completed on 1 May 1975 and the university now operates its main campus in the Christchurch suburb of Ilam and offers degrees in Arts, Commerce, Education (physical education), Engineering, Fine Arts, Forestry, Health Sciences, Law, Music, Social Work, Speech and Language Pathology, Science, Sports Coaching and Teaching.University of Kent
The University of Kent (formerly the University of Kent at Canterbury, abbreviated as UKC) is a semi-collegiate public research university based in Kent, United Kingdom. It was founded in 1965 and is recognised as a Beloff's plate glass university. The University was granted its Royal Charter on 4 January 1965 and the following year Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent was formally installed as the first Chancellor.The university has a rural campus north of Canterbury situated within 300 acres (1.2 km2) of park land, housing over 6,000 students, as well as campuses in Medway and Tonbridge in Kent and European postgraduate centres in Brussels, Athens, Rome and Paris. The University is international, with students from 158 different nationalities and 41% of its academic and research staff being from outside the United Kingdom.As of 2019, the University of Kent is ranked within the top 55 universities in the UK by the Guardian, The Times and the Complete University Guide, and has consistently scored 90% or higher for overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey. In 2016, over 28,000 students applied to the University through UCAS and 4000 accepted an offer.Indeed, almost three-quarters of the work submitted for the 2014 research assessments by the University was judged to be world-leading or internationally excellent. It is a member of the Santander Network of European universities encouraging social and economic development.
|Climate data for Canterbury|
|Average high °C (°F)||7.6
|Daily mean °C (°F)||4.3
|Average low °C (°F)||2.1
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||62.2
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||60.9||80.7||116.5||174.2||206.0||206.4||221.8||214.9||155.2||125.0||73.3||48.6||1,683.3|
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|Boroughs or districts|
See: Rivers of Kent