Only open at certain times
|Location||51.2796,1.0829 (Google Maps)||Directions||Directions via Google Maps|
Location Map (click to explore)
Dimensions of main church
|West wall to apse arcade||450||0|
|Length of nave||185||0|
|Height of nave||80||0|
|Width of nave||71||0|
|Length of choir and apse||265||0|
|Height of central tower||235||0|
|Height of western towers||130||0|
Archbishops of Canterbury (1070-1500)
|William of Corbeil||1123||1136|
|Theobald of Bec||1139||1161|
|Richard of Dover||1174||1184|
|Baldwin of Forde||1184||1190|
|Boniface of Savoy||1245||1270|
Theodore of Tarsus arrived in England to become the new Archbishop of Canterbury. Under Theodore's leadship the structure of the English Church was changed. Lands were donated and new dioceses were created. Before this time bishops had a monastery but had no defined areas of their own and were missionaries. It was at around this time that the rule of St. Benedict was introduced into the country.
Dunstan became Archbishop of Canterbury.
Athelgar became the Archbishop of Canterbury after the death of Dunstan.
Sigeric Serio becomes Archbishop of Canterbury.
Aefheah, formerly the bishop of Winchester became the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Vikings captured Canterbury and obtained a payment of £48,000. In a drunken rage the Vikings murdered Aelfheah, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Aelfheah was the man that had baptised Olaf Trygvasson in the Winter of 994. Outraged by the actions of his fellow men Thorkell the Tall defected to the side of Aethelred along with 45 Viking ships to help defend England from further Viking attacks.
Lyfing becomes Archbishop of Canterbury.
Aethelnoth became Archbishop of Canterbury.
Eadsige became Archbishop of Canterbury after the death of Aethelnoth.
Late in 1050, Eadsige, the archbishop of Canterbury died. The monks of Canterbury favoured Aelric, one of their fellow monks to become the next archbishop and Earl Godwin was approached to help push his appointment through. But King Edward appointed his favourite councellor Robert of Jumieges to the post instead.
Stigand, the Bishop of Winchester, mediated in the conflicts between the Godwines and Edward the Confessor. The Norman Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert of Jumieges, fled the country with other bishops who had been appointed by Edward. Stigand assumed the title of Archbishop of Canterbury. Robert of Jumieges appealed to Pope Leo IX and Stigand was excommunicated.
William the Conqueror placed Lanfranc in the position of Archbishop of Canterbury a move designed to strengthen his hold on the English throne. Thomas of Bayeux, a pupil of William's brother Odo, was put in the position of Archbishop of York after the death of Ealred who died on September 11th, 1069. Archbishop Stigand was imprisoned in Winchester.
Canterbury Cathedral was rebuilt at this time by Archbishop Lanfranc. The Cathedral was based on the design of his abbey in Caen.
Lanfranc held a Church council at Winchester where the reorganisation of Bishops and Bishoprics was confirmed. Canterbury was also confirmed as the head of the English Church rather than York.
After the death of Archbishop Lanfranc William Rufus held open the post of Archbishop of Canterbury for four years taking the revenues for his own purposes.
Anselm became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1093 succeeding Lanfranc. The post of Archbishop of Canterbury had been held open by William Rufus so that he could collect for himself the church's income. Anselm died in 1109.
Canterbury Choir, East Transepts and Crypt building work.
Conflicts between Archbishop Anselm and William Rufus resulted in the Archbishop leaving England and heading for Rome. William confiscated Anselm's land.
Henry I had no quarrels with Anselm, the exiled archbishop, and invited him to return from exile and take back his position at Canterbury.
Disagreements began to arise between Henry I and Archbishop Anselm over the appointment of bishops and abbots into important Church positions. Anselm believed that it was a matter for the Church to decide and should not be controlled by the King. No concession could be agreed upon and once again Anselm went into exile as the King confiscated the lands that the archbishop owned.
Archbishop Anselm, the Archbishop of Canterbury, died.
The construction of a new choir was started at Canterbury Cathedral in 1093 by Prior Ernulf and completed by Prior Conrad was dedicated in the presence of Henry I, David of Scotland and many English Earls.
After his release Stephen insisted on a second coronation so that the barons would swear their loyalty to him. The coronation took place at Canterbury Cathedral.
Theobald of Bec, archbishop of Canterbury, died after an illness. Henry II was informed and he expressed the wish to have his friend Thomas Becket elected as archbishop.
Thomas Becket was consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury on June 3rd. He accepted the pallium sent by the Pope on August 10th. A pallium is a piece of clothe sent by the Pope and is woven from white lamb's wool. It is draped around the neck.
When Henry II heard that Thomas Becket had returned to England and was threatening to excommunicate his opponents, his outrage was such that four knights overhearing the King travelled to England and killed Becket inside Canterbury Cathedral.
Becket was canonized by Pope Alexander III. His shrine at Canterbury Cathedral became extremely wealthy due to the number of pilgrims visiting it and donating money.
Canterbury Cathedral suffered another disastrous fire and was damaged so badly that it needed almost completely rebuilding. William of Sens was given the task of constructing a new Cathedral. William was injured by a fall from scaffolding and the work was continued by William the Englishman.
Pope Alexander III consecrated Roger of Dover as the Archbishop of Canterbury and gave him the pallium.
Henry II accepted his part, even though indirect, in the killing of Thomas Becket. He was whipped by the monks of Canterbury as punishment.
Canterbury Choir building work by William of Sens.
Canterbury Trinity Chapel and corona building work by William Englishman.
Hubert Walter follows Baldwin as Archbishop of Canterbury.
Hubert Walter the Archbishop of Canterbury and King John's most important advisor died.
When Hubert Walter died a dispute began between King John and the monks of Canterbury over who should become the new Archbishop of Canterbury. King John wanted John de Grey, Bishop of Norwich, to have the position but the monks wanted their sub-prior, Reginald. The matter was delayed until December when a mission sent to Rome could consult the Pope. Reginald himself went as part of the mission and stated that he had been elected by the monks. When King John heard of this he demanded that De Gray should be elected and the monks dutifully did.
Stephen Langton was chosen as Archbishop of Canterbury by Pope Innocent III.
A large number of barons, led by Stephen Langton the archbishop of Canterbury, meet King John on an island in the Thames at Runnymede. They forced the king to sign the 'Great Charter' or Magna Carta that would limit the power of the monarchy. The barons insisted that the old feudal contract should be reinstated and that the king should abide by the laws that the rest of the population did. The feudal contract allowed the barons to run their own lands, renting it from the king but paying rent by supplying knights rather than money. This feudal system had been set up by William the Conqueror.
On the death of Stephen Langton, the archbishop of Canterbury, the Pope, attempting to raise as much money from the clergy in England filled senior posts in the clergy with anyone who bidded the highest.
Canterbury Cloister building work.
King Henry III married Eleanor, one of four daughters of Raymond count of Provence. Eleanor was 14 years old. Simon de Montfort, as Lord High Steward, took care of the banquet and kitchen arrangements. The ceremony took place at Canterbury Cathedral.
At the age of fifteen Prince Edward traveled from Portsmouth with his mother and the Archbishop of Canterbury to marry Eleanor of Castile the half-sister of the King Alfonso X of Castile. Both Edward were Eleanor are descended from Henry II. They arrived in Burgos, the capital of Castile, in August where the marriage was due to take place.
Canterbury Screen of choir and chapter house building work.
Edward travelled back to England and came ashore at the Tower of London. He was horrified to find the castle unguarded. His anger did not stop with those in charge at the Tower. Edward sacked many of his advisors including the Chancellor, John Stratford, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Black Prince organised the construction of the Chantry Chapel at Canterbury Cathedral and he expressed the wish to be buried there.
The Black Prince chantry in the crypt of Canterbury cathedral built by John Box.
Canterbury Crypt Lady Chapel building work by John Box.
Work on rebuilding the nave and transepts of Canterbury Cathedral was started. The designer was Henry Yeveley one of the greatest architects in the late medieval period.
Canterbury Cloisters built by Henry Yevele.
William Courtenay became the Archbishop of Canterbury.
William Courtenay was elected the new archbishop of Canterbury by the Kentish rebels who crowded into the church. The previous archbishop was in London with the king and was to be beheaded by the rebels. The Essex section of the revolt burnt and sacked a Hospitaller commandery that had previously belonged to the Templars called Cressing Temple.
Geoffrey Chaucer begins the Canterbury Tales.
A series of miniature images painted on the side of the Black Prince's tomb in Canterbury Cathedral.
Shortly after becoming Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Arundel was exiled by Richard II because of his support for the lords appellant who had opposed the King's misrule of the country.
Henry IV was buried at Canterbury Cathedral.
Canterbury South West Tower building work by Thomas Mapilton.
Canterbury Lady Chapel Vault built.
At Canterbury Cathedral building work was undertaken on the central tower including strainer arches in the crossing.
William Wareham was elected to the post of Archbishop of Canterbury by Pope Julius II.
Henry VIII ordered the destruction of the shrine of Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral and the removal of all the offerings that had been made over the centuries. The bones were supposed to have been burned but may have been reburied sparking a mystery over the location of the remains today.
Parliamentarian troops broke into Canterbury Cathedral and damaged the interior including the organ and choir.
3D Virtual Reconstructions
Transport yourself back up to a thousand years and explore historical buildings as they may have appeared in the past. Built using the popular game development tool Unity 3D, these reconstructions will run in the most of the popular web browsers on your desktop or laptop computer.
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