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This Norman construction was badly damaged in a fire in 1174 and restored in various Gothic styles.Give yourself as much time as you can afford, to see the Perpendicular-style nave, with marvellous fan vaulting at the crossing, the sublime 14th-century choir screen, the 14th and 15th-century cloisters, beautiful Romanesque side chapels and stained glass windows dating from the 12th century.St Martin’s Church dates from the end of the 6th century, but includes even earlier Roman elements like a brick tomb.The church was established by the pagan King Æthelberht of Kent to allow his Christian wife, Bertha, a Frankish Princess, to practise her religion.In the church’s stonework you can see hundreds of Roman bricks, although it isn’t known if these are from a surviving Roman building or were reused in Anglo-Saxon times.The baptistery has an astonishing Norman tub font, fashioned from Caen stone and with carvings of arcades and interlocking circles.England’s ecclesiastical capital, Canterbury is a city with two universities, lots of preserved Medieval architecture and the oldest operating school in the world.
This space has been open since Medieval times, putting it among the country’s oldest gardens.The abbey’s stunning 14th-century Gothic gatehouse, Fyndon’s Gate is intact, and has a chamber where Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria spent the night in 1625 after their marriage at the cathedral.In a Tudor Revival house on the High Street is Canterbury’s central museum, library and art gallery.The gate contains a museum for the painted plaster maquettes for the bronze sculptures adorning the Lords Chamber and Westminster Palace.They represent the 16 barons and two bishops who signed the Magna Carta in 1215.
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There are 24 Medieval towers still standing, and at the former Queningate, pieces of the Roman wall uncovered in excavations have been put on show.