June 6th, 2002
I don't have pictures of Canterbury right now, because they were taken on Beth's Camera and I don't have copies yet.... in the meantime, this is a pretty good tourist site to see some pictures www.thycotic.com/guide/sights/sights.html
Canterbury is of course known for Chaucer and his "Canterbury Tales", but there is also a cathedral, museum, and castle ruins. Upon arriving into town, you take a bridge over the old city walls, through Dane John Gardens and then down the quaint shopping streets. However, we took a little detour first and stopped to look at the ruins of an old Norman Castle. The castle was originally beleived to be built between 1066 and 1086 after the Norman invasions. The walls of the castle are about 9 to 14 feet thick and originally stood 50 feet high. Around 1170, the castle became the prison for the County of Kent as it was no longer used by Henry II. Then in the 1820's the Gas, Light, Coke and Water company purchased the castle to store their machinery and coal. Today, the castle is half falling down, but still neat to see!
After lunch, we headed to a little musuem/show that takes you through some of the history of the Canterbury Tales and Chaucer. It was informational, but a little more centered on a kids level.
Next stop was the Canterbury Cathedral. The first cathedral was built around 597, when St. Augustine was believed to have arrived in Kent. It was then later rebuilt from 1070-1077. In 1170, Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in the cathedral as he was not well liked by Henry II. For more information and pictures see www.canterbury-cathedral.org
After the Cathedral, we just walked around town looking at the buildings and sights. We
ended the day back were we started at Dane John Mound and Garden. This is a very tall
hill which was believed to be the site of a roman burial mound. The name "Dane John" actually
comes from "donjon" which is the Norman name for mound on which a castle is built.
A motte-and-bailey castle was built here by the Normans around 1066, but a decade later the
keep was abandoned for a stone structure. Around 1790, the gardens were landscaped and a
conical monument structure was added to the top of the mound with a walkway leading up. It's
a pretty view of Canterbury standing up at the top of the mound.
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