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CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  CHRISTCHURCH CATHEDRAL, CATHEDRAL PRIORY OF THE HOLY TRINITY OF CHRISTCHURCH
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Christ Church Cathedral Priory. Excavations have found features of Romano-British date which included a street and timber structures and yards dating to the 1st to the 3rd centuries. There was some evidence for earlier activity in the area but no structures were found. The first cathedral was constructed in the style of other early Kent churches and set at a marked angle to the Roman streets. Re-used Roman stones were used in its construction. It has been suggested that this was the first church built soon after the arrival of St Augustine probably in 598. The second Anglo-Saxon cathedral was much larger and comprised a nave, flanking aisles, a squared western annex and a possible central tower. The style of construction together with documentary accounts suggests a date of construction during the early years of the 9th century probably by Archbishop Wulfred (circa 808-13). Flint nodules were used as well as Hythe stone. There is evidence of later rebuilding in keeping with documentary evidence for extensive repairs between 942 and 958 carried out by Archbishop Oda. The final form of the Anglo-Saxon Cathedral saw the addition of a major western structure (incorporating a western apse, flanking hexagonal stair turrets) and porticus/towers towards the eastern ends of the nave aisle some time between 1011 and 1067 before the cathedral was destroyed by fire. The remains of this building were demolished and the cathedral entirely rebuilt between 1070 and 1077 under Lanfranc. This began with the nave and western towers and presbytery and chapels off the transepts. St Anselm replaced the small east end with a huge choir raised upon a splendid crypt. This was destroyed by fire in 1174 and rebuilt in 1184. Between 1377 and circa 1475 the nave and western transepts in Perpendicular style were rebuilt on Norman foundations. Finally there was one further major refurbishment in 1787. Dependencies: Dover, Oxford, Monks Risborough, and Thanington Hospital.

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