Canterbury Cathedral

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Canterbury Cathedral
is special

The sizeable Canterbury Cathedral has a long history that includes Thomas Beckett's murder.

Canterbury Cathedral
tips and insights

St Augustine

It was founded in 597 by St. Augustine who was sent to England by Pope Gregory to uproot the rampant pagan religions.


Over the centuries Canterbury Cathedral suffered the ravages of fire, sackings and bombings. This led to a succession of reconstructions.

Bell Harry Tower

The tall, square "Bell Harry Tower" (see right side of photo) is the most recognizable feature of Canterbury Cathedral. It's hollow. If you look straight up from the floor of the building, you can see the tower's ceiling.

Thomas Beckett

The powerful Archbishop Thomas Beckett was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170 by four knights who mistook the wishes of King Henry II. Beckett became a martyr and his shrine developed into a major pilgrimage destination.

Canterbury Tales

Chaucer's famous 14th century "Canterbury Tales" fiction book relates stories shared by the pilgrims on their way to and from the shrine.

Visitor count

Today, Canterbury Cathedral is visited by 5 million tourists and pilgrims.

Location in England

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