Canterbury Castle

A square, ruined, the late 11th-century tower is all that remains of the former Canterbury Castle.

Canterbury Castle History

Canterbury Castle garden

The Canterbury Castle was constructed in the 11th century in the southwest quarter of the city.

The walls of its outer bailey were demolished in the late 18th century and since 1826, when the gas and water works first moved into the area, the medieval topography has been gradually destroyed apart from the tower itself which served as a coal store.

Canterbury Castle entrance

Virtually the sole surviving and visible portion of the castle is the great tower or ‘keep’. Indirect evidence suggests this stone tower was designed between 1085 and 1125.

Its architectural history is well documented from the reign of Henry II onwards. In 1173-1174 over £100 was spent on the ‘work of the castle’, chiefly on the tower. It is likely that this large sum was for alterations to an existing keep rather than for its original construction.

The castle was repaired between 1190 and 1193 when preparations were made to resist King Philip’s threatened invasion but the castle was surrendered to Louis of France in 1216. Generally during the middle ages the castle provided for the administration of the sheriff and served as a prison. By 1335 it was largely ruinous.

Canterbury Castle

After 1577 the castle stayed in the hands of the crown and was neglected and left to fall into ruin.

In 1609, the “abandoned ruin” was granted to Sir Anthony Weldon, of Swanscombe, by James I Later, the castle, as part of the manor of East Greenwich, went to Mr. Watson, and in 1732, it was sold to Mr. Fremoult. Parts of the site were sold off, and the remains were sold to Mr. Thomas Cooper who built a house on the site.

Canterbury Castle was purchased by the city council in 1928.

Canterbury Castle windows

Canterbury Castle Visitor Info

Canterbury Castle is 5 minute’s walk from Canterbury East Station and the main bus station around City Wall.

For more information about Canterbury, you can contact Canterbury Visitor Centre at:
Tel: 01227 378 100

Canterbury Castle Location

Canterbury Norman Castle is located on Castle Street, Canterbury, CT1 2PR. Get help with directions:

Canterbury Castle Map

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