Wandering Canterbury: the cathedral!

Since both of us have lived in Canterbury (UK) for around three years now, and it’s a particularly lovely place, we thought it deserved some blog-based attention. We’ve decided to do a small series of posts about Canterbury because once we set out into the city to take photos and work out the best bits to show off, we realised that there was just so much that was worthy of making the final cut! To put all the pictures and info into one blog post would make it something of an epic read, so our selected highlights of the city will be spread throughout three instead, enjoy! 🙂

 

It seems reasonable to start with the most obvious and striking aspect of the city, which is Canterbury cathedral. Towering high above every other building in the city it really is an impressive sight to behold and one with a very long history. Many sections of the cathedral (in fact most of them) have been rebuilt over the years but there are original parts of the building still in place that date back to 1077 and the first version of the building was actually constructed in the year 597.

 

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The statue in the middle is particularly life-like…

 

The architecture is stunning both outside and in, with the level of detail and intricacy never ceasing to amaze. There are also several places where people have scratched their names into the stone and as for whether this practice is frustratingly inconsiderate or charmingly human we’re yet to make up our minds! However we did find an example of someone who did just this and added the date: 1603. So in this particular case we found it fascinating to think that we were standing in exactly the same spot as someone from over 400 years ago who stood just there and carved the date into the stone (we subsequently found a similar carving which had the date 1200! Not sure whether it’s legitimate or not but if so that’s amazing!).

 

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This corridor was one of four that formed a cloister next to the main cathedral.

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The ceiling of the cloister was decorated with hundreds of coats-of-arms.

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The stone floor was set with 40 or more tombs like this one.

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View of the cloister with yet more tombs!

 

Next some pictures from inside the cathedral. We feel obliged to point though that neither description nor photograph can really do justice to what it feels like to stand in this building. Due to the sheer size of it, just being inside the cathedral is a humbling experience. Couple that with incredible levels of detail in the stone work, that we’ve done our best to capture, it’s a sight you really have to see for yourselves. That being said, here’s some pictures anyway!

 

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Not sure if you can see the detail here but this was a list of deans of the cathedral and some names were dated in the 800’s!

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This is the sight that greets you as you walk inside.

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Names and dates of those buried in the tombs.

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This was the spot that Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered inside the cathedral in the 11th century.

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Flash photography wasn’t allowed in the crypts so this is pretty hard to see. It was very dark and sombre down there.

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The perspective here wasn’t easy to capture but the ceiling raised right up to the top of the tallest part of the building.

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The intricate detail of the stonework was incredible.

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Close up of the carvings which were all over the walls and doorways inside.

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This was just a freaky looking head!

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Hard to see because of the reflections (this section of wall had a glass cover to preserve it) but this was showcasing some of the oldest Christian ‘wall paintings’. This one is an eagle.

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That’s it for the first part of our Canterbury series, we hope you enjoyed it! The next part will show you some of Canterbury’s parks, gardens and nature scenery, speak to you soon!

 

Ben and Jess 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Wandering Canterbury: the cathedral!

  1. Pingback: Wandering Canterbury: parks, gardens and nature! | The Origin of Travel

  2. Pingback: Wandering Canterbury: the wall and the Westgate! | The Origin of Travel

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