Canterbury  Kent


In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Canterbury like this:

Canterbury, city, parl. and mun. bor., E. Kent, on the river Stour, 62 miles SE. of London by rail, 3826 ac., pop. 21,704; 2 Banks, 6 newspapers. Market-day, Saturday. The antiquity of C. is attested by the Druidical and Roman remains which have been found there. The Romans, who called it Durovernum (supposed to be derived from the ancient British Durwhern), seem to have built its walls, some parts of which still remain. ...

Its present name comes from the Saxon Cantwara-byrig, signifying "the borough or town of the men of Kent," whose kings resided here. The conversion of King Ethelbert to Christianity by St Augustine was the occasion of its cathedral and abbey being founded (597). During the ravages of the Danes (843-1011), the city suffered severely; but at the time of the Norman Conquest it had recovered its importance. In 1170, Thomas a Becket, the Archbishop, was murdered at the altar of the cathedral; which in after-years drew pilgrims from all parts of Christendom to visit his shrine. The Archbishop of Canterbury is primate of all England, and, next to the royal family, takes precedence of all peers. His seats are Lambeth Palace and Addington Park. C. cathedral is one of the finest in England, exhibiting specimens of all the styles of architecture from Early Norman to latest English. There are extensive barracks for infantry and cavalry in the city, which is the depot of all cavalry regiments on foreign service, A good trade in grain, hops, and malt is carried on. C. returns 1 member to Parl.

Canterbury through time

Click here for graphs and data of how Canterbury has changed over two centuries. For statistics for historical units named after Canterbury go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Canterbury in Kent | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 25th June 2024

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