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The Unofficial Guide to Great Britain.

 

Comment about Canterbury Cathedral from Westgate Towers, Canterbury, Kent

Driving along the ancient city wall of Canterbury under an overcast sky,the very top of the Cathedral could be seen. It was a very impressive first sight, especially knowing that there was so much hidden from the eye.

The coach park was a fifteen minute walk from the entry gate but it was fun to stroll the narrow lane, paved with cobblestones. The path which led us towards the cathedral was lined with antique shops, which would be visited on the return trip.

The formal entrance to The Cathedral is not attached to the cathedral at all. It is set between two ordinary-looking shops. Christ Church Gateway was extremely dirty, the grime from centuries of coal-fires and just regular everyday pollution has ruined its appearance. The stone carvings were difficult to see although the central figure of Christ was easy. He was in blue relief.

Although famous for the murder which took place here, the cathedral is home to other important British people. The tomb of Henry IV and his queen are in a center section, as is the tomb of Edward, The Black Prince. Unfortunately, only the sides of these tombs could be appreciated. The effigies on top could not be seen in any detail. They are too high and the floor of the cathedral is too low, or I'm just too short. It would have been nice if a large mirror could have been suspended above each so that the stone effigies of the royals could have been admired. It was very tempting for me to climb up the sides of the tombs and stand on their tops and look down on Henry and Edward. Somehow, though, I don't think the cathedral authorities would have applauded my initiative.

I didn't stay long inside the cathedral. Everything was too dark and dismal. I didn't get the feeling of a huge building rising around me or of a lot of light filling the space, possibly because of the cloudy sky. The stained glass windows certainly didn't pour forth their colors which I'm sure would have happened in the sky had been full of sunshine.

The town of Canterbury has a lot to offer, though. It can accomodate crowds of people and for the time I was there, it was packed. There wasn't a problem getting lunch, though, and it was easy to maneuver my package of fish and chips through folks as the lane full of antique shops was entered.

I will definitely have to make another 'pilgrimage' to Canterbury...just making sure it's a day bright with sun!


'Tudor Rose', Florida, U.S.A


We have just done a pub quiz and it stated that Canterbury is actually the oldest cathedral in Britain. now as you can imagine we have now looked into this to some extent and I can confirm that CANTERBURY & ROCHESTER are older than Durham Cathedral.


'Becci', U.K.

The age of a cathedral depends on your viewpoint. If you are looking on a cathedral as a religeous institution then the age will start from the date that the cathedral was founded even though there may have been more than one building erected on the same site during that time. However, on this web site, we are looking at the cathedral as a building so it is the age of the current building which we are talking about. In this case Canterbury Cathedral, the building, is not as old as Durham Cathedral.


Barry, BeenThere-DoneThat

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