Belated Birthday Bash: Part 1 – The Black Prince and an Archbishop
Last weekend I had a couple of wonderful surprise birthday treats.
I’ll share my experiences with you and I hope you enjoy the photos and snippets to go with them.
My youngest brother organised this one – the other treats will follow next time.
The first of which was a fab day out at Canterbury Cathedral where one of our ancestors was once Archbishop of Canterbury and the last pre-reformation Archbishop.
His name was William Warham (1503-1532)
We spent a number of hours looking around the Cathedral which is a World Heritage Site.
in AD 597 missionaries from Rome converted the King of Kent to Christianity.
Augustine, leader of the mission, was consecrated as Archbishop and his cathedra (official seat) was established at Canterbury.
The Cathedral has been the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury ever since.
In 1170 Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in the Cathedral and, when soon afterwards miracles were said to take place it became one of Europe’s most important pilgrimage centres.
King Henry 11 is said to have exclaimed ‘Who will rid me of this turbulent priest’ following a long-lasting dispute.
Four knights set off for Canterbury and murdered Thomas – the place is now called the Martyrdom.
The original tomb of Thomas Becket was housed in the Eastern Crypt from 1170-1220 when it was moved to Trinity Chapel, which was destroyed on the orders of Henry III in 1538 (Becket’s cult was one that questioned the King’s supremacy in Church matters). The Pavement above was prepared for repositioning of the shrine in 1220 – a candle burns on the spot of the original tomb.
The Trinity Chapel houses the tombs of King Henry IV and Edward, Prince of Wales known as ‘The Black Prince.’
The Black Prince died 1376. the gilded effigy shows him in full armour and gauntlets including spurs which he won at the Battle of Crecy, his dog and helmet.
The shields on the tomb for the first time show the three ostrich feathers of peace which are still referred to as ‘The Prince of Wales Feathers.’
There is a Huguenot Chapel originally The Black Prince’s Chantry, here he expected to be buried, but his tomb is in a place of honour in the Trinity Chapel. Queen Elizabeth 1 gave this chapel to the refugee French Protestant Huguenots, who first fled to Britain over 400 years ago, and again in the late 17th century when persecuted by Louis I. Services are still held every Sunday and we noticed quite a few French visitors going into the chapel whilst we were looking around.
Facing the Warriors’ Chapel of St Michael is the ship’s bell of HMS Canterbury, it rings out at 11am on weekdays signalling prayers commemorating the dead of both World Wars and other recent conflicts – we heard it and we stood to listen to the 5 minute service.
The tomb of Lady Margaret Holland with her two husbands, John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset (on the left) and Prince Thomas Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, on the right. The chapel was rebuilt by Lady Margaret just before she died in 1439.
The Cathedral houses some of the earliest examples of stained glass in the Britain.
We spent a wonderful day wandering around the Cathedral, we arrived early so we wee lucky to avoid the crowds of tourists who gradually filled the Cathedral and the town a little later. My brother has been before so he knew where to visit first. Unfortunately in the Crypt photographs were not allowed.
Which is such a shame as some of the most interesting tombs and architecture was down there.
More photos taken during our visit.
Next time I will share some photos of another lovely place we visited: Eastbridge Hospital and also Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club where my brother and his partner took me for a very special event, where I got to hear the songs of one of my all time favourite artists and performers.
I hope you will pop back then.
Meantime thanks so much for taking trip around Canterbury Cathedral with me. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
The grounds are well worth a visit, and so is the town.
As always please be aware these photos and content are (c) Jane Risdon 2015.
Canterbury Cathedral general visiting times:
(limited at times of services)
Disability access, guided tours, shopping available.