IMG_2144 - 2013-05-29 at 11-00-17On my second day in Canterbury I returned to Canterbury Cathedral. Here is the gatehouse to the Cathedral complex once again.

IMG_2157 - 2013-05-29 at 11-08-36Details of the stonework, including the red and white Tudor Rose. The gate was built to celebrate the marriage of Catherine of Aragon to Henry VIII’s older brother Arthur. Arthur died, Henry married Catherine and the course of history changed.

IMG_2141 - 2013-05-29 at 10-54-48It was a little drizzly that day.

IMG_2056 - 2013-05-29 at 10-11-50The Nave of the cathedral, which is 14th century. Canterbury is the oldest cathedral in England and is where Saint Augustine set up the first Christian church in 597 AD at the order of Pope Gregory the Great.

IMG_2060 - 2013-05-29 at 10-12-28Font.

IMG_2061 - 2013-05-29 at 10-14-00Pulpit.

IMG_2065 - 2013-05-29 at 10-18-41The altar. Behind is the stone screen leading into the Quire.

IMG_2072 - 2013-05-29 at 10-20-20The Martyrdom. Canterbury Cathedral was one of the most important sites of pilgrimage in medieval Europe (think Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales) because of what happened here in 1170. When, after a long lasting dispute with the Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket, King Henry II is said to have exclaimed “Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?”, four knights set off for Canterbury and murdered Thomas Becket here. The modern sculpture on the wall represents a cross with two swords. With the shadows created by the strong light there are represented the four swords of the four knights who beheaded Thomas Becket on this spot.

IMG_2076 - 2013-05-29 at 10-23-30The murder of an Archbishop inside his own cathedral sent shockwaves through Europe. Within three years, Thomas was canonised as a saint.

IMG_2114 - 2013-05-29 at 10-46-04In another part of the cathedral, the Trinity Chapel, there long stood Saint Thomas of Canterbury’s shrine but it was destroyed on the orders of Henry VIII during the Reformation.

IMG_2118 - 2013-05-29 at 10-46-35This candle burns where the shrine once stood.

IMG_2079 - 2013-05-29 at 10-35-22The Cloister.

IMG_2091 - 2013-05-29 at 10-39-07The Chapter House.

IMG_2088 - 2013-05-29 at 10-37-59The elaborately decorated ceiling of painted oak.

IMG_2112 - 2013-05-29 at 10-43-43The Quire.

IMG_2109 - 2013-05-29 at 10-43-13The Cathedra – literally the ‘seat’ of the Archbishop, from which a ‘cathedral’ gains its name.

IMG_2099 - 2013-05-29 at 10-41-43An older part of the cathedral with rounded “Romanesque” or “Norman” arches, which differ from the pointed arches and windows of the Gothic parts of the building.

IMG_2130 - 2013-05-29 at 10-50-26Exquisite stained glass.

IMG_2133 - 2013-05-29 at 10-50-42Close up.

IMG_2164 - 2013-05-29 at 11-28-32A gargoyle.

IMG_2174 - 2013-05-29 at 11-54-59Monastic ruins in the Cathedral precinct. Following my visit to the cathedral I took a guided walk around the city. The walk goes into the Cathedral grounds and covers the history of the Cathedral but you don’t go inside, which is why I visited beforehand.

IMG_2184 - 2013-05-29 at 12-05-34Here is a crooked “jetted” house. Jetted means that each floor extends out over the floor below it, thus maximising floorspace but minimising the tax paid which is based on the ground rent.

IMG_2185 - 2013-05-29 at 12-05-46

Charles Dickens wrote of this house: “a very old house bulging out over the road…leaning forward, trying to see who was passing on the narrow pavement below”.

IMG_2186 - 2013-05-29 at 12-11-24This is a public house called Conquest House. It is where the four knights who murdered Thomas Becket originally left their arms – they wanted to try to reason with the Archbishop first.

IMG_2194 - 2013-05-29 at 12-16-12The rather nondescript white buidling with the orange awning is where the Puritans negotiated the hire of the Mayflower to take them to America.

IMG_2206 - 2013-05-29 at 14-18-30This is Canterbury’s modern Marlowe Theatre – named after Shakespeare’s contemporary Christopher Marlowe, who was born and educated in Canterbury.

IMG_2204 - 2013-05-29 at 12-22-58Another view of the River Stour.

IMG_2205 - 2013-05-29 at 14-06-29After my walk I had lunch here at the Moat Tea Rooms. It was then time to collect Mark from his conference and drive back to Liverpool, which took the four and half hours it was meant to take rather than the seven or so it did the day before!