History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
Initially, the abbey was more important than the cathedral, but the murder of St Thomas a Becket in 1170 changed all that. Pilgrims flocked to Canterbury to visit the shrine of the murdered archbishop, and Canterbury Cathedral became the richest in the land. It was expanded and rebuilt to become one of the finest examples of medieval architecture in Britain.
But there is more to Canterbury than the cathedral. The 12th century Eastbridge Hospital was a guesthouse for pilgrims and features medieval wall paintings and a Pilgrim's Chapel. The old West Gate of the city walls still survives, and the keep of a 11th-century castle.
St Dunstan's church holds a rather gruesome relic; the head of Sir Thomas More, executed by Henry VIII. The area around the cathedral is a maze of twisting medieval streets and alleys, full of historic buildings. Taken as a whole, Canterbury is one of the most satisfying historic cities to visit in England.
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Canterbury City Walls - 0.6 miles (Historic Building)
Dane John Gardens - 0.7 miles (Garden)
Dane John Mound - 0.7 miles (Castle)
Canterbury Castle - 0.7 miles (Castle)
St Augustine's Abbey - 0.8 miles (Abbey)
Fyndon Gate - 0.8 miles (Historic Building)
Canterbury, St Mildred Church - 0.8 miles (Historic Church)
Canterbury Tales - 0.8 miles (Museum)
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