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Sunday, 15 December 2013


Canterbury was the site of the Roman town Durovernum Cantiacorum. Situated on Watling Street, the Roman road between Dover and London, it was an important fortress and military station.

 In 597AD a missionary called Augustine was sent by Pope Gregory to Britain to convert the natives to Christianity  On arriving in Kent, a residence was assigned to Augustine and his 40 monks by King Aethelbert at Canterbury where they devoted themselves to monastic exercises and preaching. Canterbury was then known as "Cant-wara-byru"

The oldest still existing school in the UK, King’s School, Canterbury, was founded in 600AD.

Augustine was consecrated the first Archbishop of Canterbury in 601AD.

Archbishop Becket was murdered by four of the king’s knights at Canterbury Cathedral in 1170. When the cathedral was destroyed by fire four years later, it was seen as divine displeasure at the assassination.

Around 700 miraculous cures were recorded at Thomas Becket's shrine, in the decade after his assassination. It was an important centre of pilgrimage until the Reformation.

Matthew ‘Nosey’ Parker (1504-1575), was the original ‘Nosey’ Parker. He was the Archbishop of Canterbury between 1559 and 1575 in which capacity he devoted much of his time to historical research to discover the roots of the new English church. This involved the archbishop asking many questions of people who had been around during the English church’s break with Rome and his relentless questioning combined with his rather long nose caused his critics to dub him “Nosey Parker.”

The Canterbury and Whitstable Railway, which opened in 1830 was the first steam hauled passenger railway to issue season tickets and include a tunnel.

The first public library in the UK was founded at Canterbury in 1847.

During the Second World War, 10,445 bombs dropped during 135 separate raids destroyed 731 homes and 296 other buildings in the city. The most devastating raid was on June 1, 1942 during the Baedeker Blitz when much of the eastern part of Canterbury was destroyed by fire.

Canterbury Cathedral is opened and closed each day with the ringing of a 17th-century bell.

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