Canterbury Cathedral's history goes back to 597AD when St Augustine, sent by Pope Gregory the Great as a missionary, established his seat (or 'Cathedra') in Canterbury. In 1170 Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in the Cathedral and ever since the Cathedral has attracted thousands of pilgrims, as told famously in Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
Here is a quick summary of the Cathedral's history, you can read more here. The best know event in the Cathedral's history was the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket in 1170, you can read about him here.
Through the Centuries
597 St. Agustine arrived in Kent and soon established the first Cathedral
1070 - 1077 Cathedral rebuilt by Archbishop Lanfranc
1098 - 1130 New Quire built over a Crypt (present Western Crypt)
1170 Thomas Becket murdered in the Cathedral
1175 - 1184 Quire rebuilt. Eastern Crypt, Trinity and Corona Chapels added (all as seen today)
1220 Becket's body placed in new Shrine in Trinity Chapel
1377 - 1405 Lanfranc Nave demolished and rebuilt as seen today; Cloister vaulting inserted
c1450 Pulpitum Screen constructed
1498 Bell Harry Tower extended and the Cathedral largely complete as seen today
1538 Becket's Shrine destroyed by Henry VIII
1540 Monastery dissolved by royal command
1541 New Foundation of Dean and Chapter established
1660 - 1704 Repair and refurbishing after Puritan damage
1834 North West tower rebuilt
1954 Library rebuilt, repairing War damage
1986 Altar of the Sword's Point (Martyrdom) restored
1988 Compass Rose placed in the Nave
2000 International Study Centre opened in the Precincts
We took photographs as we walked round the quaint streets of Canterbury and were able to take photographs in the Cathedral, so I've put together a slide show with the best, showing just how beautiful the town and the Cathedral are.
The next stop on our intinerary was Faversham and the Shepherd Neame Brewery. The story of Shepherd Neame began in1698 when Captain Richard Marsh of the Cinque Ports Militia, a mayor of Faversham, founded a brewery over an artesian well in the town's Court Street, then known as North Street. At that time, Faversham was a bustling port, and already enjoyed a brewing tradition dating back to the 12th century when King Stephen founded a Benedictine abbey just yards from the present brewery site. It didn't take the Cluniac monks long to discover that Faversham's pure spring water could be combined with locally-grown malting barley to produce a particularly fine ale. You can read further about the history of Shepherd Neame, Faversham here.
We enjoyed a tour of the brewery, learning about the brewing process from start to finish, before retiring to the private bar to enjoy a sample of some of the brewery's famous ales. Here's a slide show of the workings of the brewery.
Another fabulous day was had by all and unfortunately it was time to head back to the hotel. There again we still had tomorrow's itinerary to look forward to, so I hope you will join me for Hops & Vines Part 3.