Canterbury’s past is as rich as it comes. From AD 200 there was a Roman town here, which later became the capital of the Saxon kingdom of Kent. When St Augustine arrived in England in 597 to carry the Christian message to the pagan hordes, he chose Canterbury as his cathedra (primary see) and set about building an abbey on the outskirts of town. Following the martyrdom of Thomas Becket, Canterbury became northern Europe’s most important centre of pilgrimage, which in turn led to Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, one of the most outstanding poetic works in English literature.
Blasphemous murders and rampant tourism thrown aside, the city of Canterbury still remains the primary see for the Church of England.