the last stop on our english-heritage-themed roadtrip last weekend was the charming town of canterbury – a place so stuffed with history - it’s really quite staggering. supposedly this spot of earth has been occupied by humans since the paleolithic times – tens of thousands of years! in 597 ad, pope gregory sent saint augustine to convert the anglo-saxon king of canterbury, then a roman town, to christianity, and thus for the last 1400 years this place has been a very significant spiritual destination. canterbury is considered the headquarters of the anglican church and its epic cathedral has been a major focus of pilgrimage for nearly a thousand years (remember chaucer’s canterbury tales??).
we had less than twenty four hours in canterbury, but very much enjoyed our stay at the most lovely bed & breakfast, our time at church (which happened to be across the street from our b&b – a three minute walk!), and our explorations around the incredible cathedral and the enchanting old town. soooo much history in the air!
when we entered the cathedral, the magnificent organ was playing, filling those tall spaces with gorgeous music and making our visit so atmospheric!
^^ it’s so astonishing to think about structures like this being built hundreds and hundreds of years ago. ^^
^^ the burial place of king henry iv and his wife. nbd. ^^
^^ there’s a bunch of ruins around the periphery of the cathedral, dating back to saint augustine’s original church built in 597. amazing. ^^
^^ the cloisters. so beautiful. ^^
^^ the main street running through the old town is speckled with gorgeous old buildings like this one. ^^
^^ and a canal runs through it all! ^^
^^ we went to the top of westgate, the largest surviving city gate in england. the views over the city were perfect! ^^
^^ can you spot the boy in the middle of the road down there?! ^^
^^ ian in front of westgate, and me in front of the entrace to saint augustine’s abbey. ^^
^^ the ruins of saint augustine’s abbey – layers and layers of church building and civilization. and check out that suuuuper green grass. in frigid january! ^^
^^ the grave of saint augustine, the first archbishop of canterbury. just a mere 1,411 years old. ^^
it was so nice to get out of the city for a little bit last weekend and to see more of england. there’s certainly so much to explore and to learn here.