St Martin's Church, Canterbury

St Martin's Church, Canterbury (must see)

Saint Martin's Church is known as England's oldest church still used as a church and the oldest parish church in the English-speaking world. Records indicate the church building originated during the fifth or sixth century.

King Ethelberht and Queen Bertha of Kent renovated this Romano-British building around AD 580. The church was dedicated to St Martin of Tours.

Saint Augustine of Canterbury arrived in 597 and expanded the church. Saint Augustine was on a mission to convert the English to Christianity, and he baptized King Ethelberht in Saint Martin's.

Saint Martin's construction includes Roman tiles and reused Roman bricks. In addition, the remains of a Roman tomb were integrated into the building.

The church has been modified over the centuries. The blocked square-headed doorway in the chancel might have been the entrance to the church during Queen Bertha's time. Parts of the church wall, including the nave, were built in the seventh or eighth century. The tower was built in the 14th century in the English Gothic style.

Why You Should Visit:
Saint Martin's has been a place for Christians to gather since the sixth century. It was here that Saint Augustine first arrived to spread the message of Christianity.

Tips:
Don't miss visiting the church graveyard. Well-known gravesites include artist Thomas Sidney Cooper and writer Mary Tourtel, Rupert Bear's creator.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Canterbury. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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St Martin's Church on Map

Sight Name: St Martin's Church
Sight Location: Canterbury, England (See walking tours in Canterbury)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Canterbury, England

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