Place:Canterbury, Kent, England

Alt namesCanterburysource: Getty Vocabulary Program
Cantiacorumsource: Canby, Historic Places (1984) I, 151
Cantiensissource: Domesday Book (1985) p 146
Cantorbérysource: Rand McNally Atlas (1994) I-29
Cantuariasource: Domesday Book (1985) p 146; Times Atlas of World History (1993) p 339
Cantwaraburnsource: Canby, Historic Places (1984) I, 151
Cantwarabyrigsource: Canby, Historic Places (1984) I, 151
Durovernumsource: Canby, Historic Places (1984) I, 151; Romano-British Placenames [online] (1999) accessed 16 August 2004
Durovernum Cantiacorumsource: Encyclopedia Britannica Online (2002-) accessed 3 August 2004
TypeAncient city, Civil parish, Borough (county)
Coordinates51.283°N 1.083°E
Located inKent, England
See alsoCanterbury District, Kent, Englanddistrict municipality into which it was absorbed in 1974
Contained Places
Canterbury Cathedral
Ruined church
St. Augustine's Abbey
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city, which lies on the River Stour at the heart of the City of Canterbury, a local government district of Kent, England.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is the primate of the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion. The importance of Canterbury is based on that of St. Augustine, who served as the apostle to the pagan Kingdom of Kent around the turn of the 7th century. The city's cathedral became a major focus of pilgrimage following the 1170 martyrdom of Thomas Becket, although it had already been a well-trodden pilgrim destination since the murder of St Alphege by the men of King Canute in 1012. A journey of pilgrims to Becket's shrine served as the frame for Geoffrey Chaucer's 14th century classic The Canterbury Tales.

Canterbury is a popular tourist destination: consistently one of the most-visited cities in the United Kingdom, the city's economy is heavily reliant upon tourism. The city has been occupied since Paleolithic times and served as the capital of the Celtic Cantiaci and Jute Kingdom of Kent. Many historical structures fill the area, including a city wall founded in Roman times and rebuilt in the 14th century, the ruins of St. Augustine's Abbey and a Norman castle, and the oldest extant school in the world, the King's School. Because of the presence of a number of univeristies and colleges, there is also a substantial student population. Canterbury remains, however, a small city in terms of geographical size and population, when compared with other British cities. Its population at the time of the 2011 UK census was 55,240.

The city became a county corporate in 1461, and later a county borough under the Local Government Act 1888. In 1974 it lost its status as the smallest county borough in England, after the Local Government Act 1972, and came under the control of Kent County Council. The City of Canterbury, established in 1974, includes Whitstable and Herne Bay as well as many smaller parishes.

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Canterbury.

Churches of Canterbury

In WeRelate, most of the churches within Canterbury have been redirected to the city, although a few have their own articles. The italicized ones in the following table have been redirected here.

ChurchParish Register Availability Bishop Transcripts Availability
Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Christ at Canterburyno dates givenno dates given
Canterbury All Saints1559-18811603-1878
Canterbury Black Princes Chantryno dates givenno dates given
Canterbury Christchurch1564-19611813-1862
Canterbury Westgate Holy Cross1566-18121569-1868
Canterbury St. Alphege1558-19511569-1903
Canterbury St. Andrew1538-18121603-1879
St. Augustine's Abbeyno dates givenno dates given
Canterbury St. Dunstan1559-19691603-1907
Canterbury St. George the Martyr1538-1958BT dates not found
Canterbury St. Gregory the GreatPR dates not found1852-1898
Canterbury St. John's Hospitalno dates givenno dates given
Canterbury St. Margaret1653-19421603-1898
Canterbury St. Martin1662-19511557-1902
Canterbury St. Mary Bredin1563- ---- (baptisms only)1612-1922
Canterbury St. Mary Bredman1558-18871603-1880
Canterbury St. Mary Magdalene1634-18661603-1865
Canterbury St. Mary North Gate1563-18871604-1887
Canterbury St. Mildred1558-19011612-1901
Canterbury St. PeterPR dates not found1603-1898
Canterbury St. Paul1562-19701611-1900
Canterbury White Friarsno dates givenno dates given

Research Tips

  • Kent County Council Archive, Local Studies and Museums Service. James Whatman Way, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1LQ. This incorporates the Centre for Kentish Studies in Maidstone and the East Kent Archives Centre near Dover.
  • Canterbury Cathedral Archives see the Archives web pages on the Canterbury Catherdral site.
  • For information on the area around the Medway Towns, have a look at Medway Council's CityArk site.
  • Ordnance Survey Maps of England and Wales - Revised: Kent illustrates the parish boundaries of Kent when rural districts were still in existence and before Greater London came into being. The map publication year is 1931. An earlier map of 1900 may also be useful. The maps blow up to show all the parishes and many of the small villages and hamlets. Maps in this series are now downloadable for personal use.
  • Census records for Kent are available on FamilySearch, Ancestry and FindMyPast. The first site is free; the other two are pay sites but have access to microfilmed images. Steve Archer produced a very useful round-up of the available sources, but this information may not be up to date.
  • Registration Districts in Kent for the period 1837 to the present. By drilling down through the links you can follow any parish through the registration districts to which it was attached.
  • England, Kent, Parish Registers, 1538-1911 The full database from Kent Archives Office, Maidstone, has been available online from FamilySearch since June 2016.
  • Kent had five family history societies (now only four):
  • Volume 2 of the Victoria County History of Kent (published 1926) is available online through the auspices of British History Online. It includes accounts of the early history of Canterbury and Rochester cathedrals, and of several sites now within the conurbation of London.
  • Volume 3 of the Victoria County History of Kent (published 1932) This includes the text of, and the index to, the Kent Domesday survey. It has been provided by the Kent Archaeological Society.
  • In place of the other volumes of the Victoria County History, British History Online has transcriptions of the numerous volumes of The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent by Edward Hasted (originally published 1797)
  • English Jurisdictions 1851, a parish finding aid provided by FamilySearch, is particularly helpful in locating parishes in large ancient towns and cities like Canterbury.
  • Kent Probate Records Numerous links provided by Maureen Rawson
  • GENUKI lists other possible sources, however, it does not serve Kent so well as it does some other counties.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Canterbury. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.