St Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury

4.5 out of 5 stars 9 Reviews

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • St Augustine's Abbey
    by smschley
  • St Augustine's Abbey
    St Augustine's Abbey
    by martin_nl
  • St Augustine's Abbey
    by kenyneo
  • smschley's Profile Photo

    St. Augustine's Abbey

    by smschley Updated Jan 5, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    St Augistine founded the Abbey in 597 CE just outside the walls of Canterbury marking the rebirth of Christianity in southern England. Already standing on the site were three Saxon churches, dedicated respectively to Saints Pancras, Peter and Paul, and finally Mary. The remains of the church of Saint Pancras still exist, however, the other two churches were rebuilt by the Normans into one building. After the Viking invasions, it emerged in the tenth century as the only surviving monastery in Kent. In 978 a new enlarged abbey church was re-dedicated to 'Saints Peter and Paul and St Augustine of England'. By 1100 all remains of the original Anglo Saxon building had disappeared under a massive romanesque edifice, to which an Almonry was added in 1154.

    After a pause in the late twelfth century there was a great period of reconstruction and expansion from the mid thirteenth century. The cloister, lavatorium, frater and kitchen were totally rebuilt and the cellarium in the west cloister range was replaced by a very grand new abbot's lodging, and the range was extended to provide a great hall. A new crenellated Great Gate opposite completed the Inner Great Court in 1309.

    On the north a new outer court with cellarer's range, brewhouse, bakehouse etc, and ultimately in 1320 a new walled vineyard were added. There was also expansion on the east where a series of lodgings were added to the east side of the infirmary and a new walled cellarer's garden was enclosed.

    By 1500 the abbey covered a very large area, that rivalled the nearby Canterbury Cathedral in size. Its library contained in excess of 2000 volumes, a staggering number for the time. Many of these would have been produced in the abbeys own scriptorium.

    On July 30, 1538, the abbey's fate was sealed when it fell to the purge of Henry VIII. The abbey was systematically dismantled over the next fifteen years, although part of the site was converted to a palace. This palace is thought to have survived until a great storm in 1703.

    Was this review helpful?

  • martin_nl's Profile Photo

    St Augustine's Abbey

    by martin_nl Updated Jul 24, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    St Augustine's Abbey

    After the little visit to the Kings School I walked down Monastery St and headed left and continued on Longport. This is where the entrance to St Augustine's Abbey is. I didn't really know what to expect here, but I didn't want to pay any money to go and see it, since the ruins of the Abbey can be seen from the entrance perfectly fine.

    If you do want to go inside this English Heritage site you have to pay 3.70 entrance fee as an adult. There is also a children and concession entrance fee. The Abbey was founded in the year 597 by St Augustine and is nowadays together with the Cathedral part of the Canterbury's UNESCO World Heritage site.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • ShinerBlonde's Profile Photo

    St. Augustine's Abbey

    by ShinerBlonde Written Jan 18, 2005

    On the southeast fringes of the town, just beyond the remnants of the old city walls, you will find the scant remains of St. Augustine’s Abbey, where the evangelizing saint established his abbey in the last 6th century. This Abbey is at the very heart of the history of Christianity in England. It has actually been a monastic site for nearly a thousand years. The admission price of US $3.75 includes an interesting interactive tour of the ruins. There is a museum and information center and this houses fascinating exhibits discovered during earlier excavations. There is also a well-stocked shop if you want to get a memento of your visit to Canterbury. Since I studied for the summer at Rutherford College in Canterbury, I got in free here one afternoon to put on an act of Hamlet for my class with some friends. It was quite amazing to be acting out Shakespeare within ancient walls.

    Was this review helpful?

  • kenyneo's Profile Photo

    St Augustine Abbey

    by kenyneo Written Nov 29, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This great abbey, marking the rebirth of Christianity in southern England, was founded in AD597 by St Augustine. Its part of Canterbury 's World Heritage site ( others being the Canterbury Cathedral and St Martin's church )

    the missionary

    After a long journey from Rome, Augusting finally reached the southern shores of England in AD597. Travelling with a group of benedictine monks, he had been sent by Pope Gregory to introduce Christianity to the wayward English. Within a short time, Augustine and his missionaries arrived in Canterbury, where King Ethelbert of Kent granted land for a monastery to be built. Following Roman tradition, St Augustines Abbey was sited outside the city walls, providing a perfect burial ground for kings and archbishops.

    This is the oldest monastic site in the country, but very little evidence of its grandeur and importance is left. Today only a few ruinous walls exist to remind us that this was the centre of early Christian education

    ___________________________________

    Open: Daily at 1000.
    Closing times vary by month:
    April-September: 1800
    October: 1700
    November-March: 1600
    Closed: Christmas Day and on New Years Day

    Admission: (may be subject to change )

    - Adults £3.00
    - Children £1.50
    - Concessions £2.30

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • kentishgirl's Profile Photo

    St.Augustines Abbey

    by kentishgirl Updated Nov 5, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ruins of St.Augustines Abbey

    St.Augustines Abbey is now really just ruins, but it is a very important and historical site in our city. It was originally used as a burial ground for Anglo Saxon Kings and dates back to 597AD.

    A few years back they renovated it to bring in more visitors, there are now free audio tours and a museum to explore.

    This is where Christianity was reborn in England.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • nhcram's Profile Photo

    St Augustines Abbey. 1400 years of history.

    by nhcram Updated Jun 17, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hundreds of years of history

    The remains of St Augustines Abbey are just outside the city walls on the Eastern side. It was founded by St Augustine and King Ethelbert in about 597 and remains consist of ruinous walls and foundations. It is part of Canterbury's world Heritage site. It provided a perfect burial place for kings and archbishops.

    Was this review helpful?

  • saraheg77's Profile Photo

    St. Augustine's Abbey

    by saraheg77 Updated May 5, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    St. Augustine's Abbey Ruins

    If you're in Canterbury, don't miss St. Augustine's Abbey. There were several buildings in ruins you could wander around and explore and St. Augustine's grave is located there. In this picture, the reddish bricks were ones the monks used from the Roman Road there in Canterbury to build their Abbey. The little museum at the entrance was very nice and informative. The link is to the English Heritage site. If you're going to be visiting several of their sites, be sure and look into a multiple site entrance fee discount.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • St. Augustine's Abbey

    by KenMore Written Feb 25, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is what remains of St. Augustin's Abbey. Founded in 598, St. Augustine's Abbey is one of the oldest monastic sites in Britain. The Abbey suffered destruction with the dissolution in 1538 and visitors today are able to see not only the ruins of both Saxon and Norman churches, but also the remains of Tudor brickwork from a Royal Palace built by Henry VIII.

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad

    Was this review helpful?

  • Zmrzlina's Profile Photo

    Visit to St. Augustine Abbey

    by Zmrzlina Updated Jul 9, 2003
    St. Augustine Abbey

    I cannot add a hyperlink to my travelogue, but that is where the details of this visit are. Shame HTML isn't allowed on these pages.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Canterbury

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

67 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near St Augustine's Abbey
4.0 out of 5 stars
2 Reviews
0.1 miles away
Show Prices
4.0 out of 5 stars
0.1 miles away
Show Prices
4.5 out of 5 stars
2 Reviews
0.1 miles away
Show Prices

View all Canterbury hotels