St George's Tower
St George's Tower

The clock tower is all that remains of the medieval church of St George the Martyr. The church is best known as the place where playwright Christopher Marlowe was baptised.

It is not clear when the first church on this High Street site was built; it is possible that there was a Saxon church here, possibly as early as the 7th century. However, the earliest evidence we have only pushes the date back to the 11th century. However, recent archaeological excavations have discovered a late Iron Age or early Roman ditch beneath the church.

The church was expanded several times from the 12th to 14th century; a testament to the rapid growth of medieval Canterbury. During one of these expansions in the late 14th or early 15th century, the current clocktower was added. At that time it would have stood within the west nave of the church. It features a crenellated parapet and two-light windows in Perpendicular style.

When the nearby church of St Mary Magdalene in Burgate was largely demolished in 1872, St George's was expanded again to take in the extra parishioners. However, this enlarged church of St George was not destined to last, as the church was badly damaged by German bombs on 1 June 1942. That same raid totally destroyed the nearby house in which Christopher Marlowe was born.

The church was demolished in 1955, but the tower was saved to stand as a historic landmark.