Christ Church Gate of Canterbury Cathedral

Christ Church Gate of Canterbury Cathedral


Posted 2020-02-04 by Susan Hambidgefollow
The grand entrance to the grounds of Canterbury Cathedral is called Christ Church Gate and it has stood in its place since 1517. Christ Church Gate was built to honour Prince Arthur who was Henry VIII's older brother. Arthur married Catherine of Aragon when he was just 15, and he died one year later opening the way for Henry VIII to be crowned king. Henry also went on to marry his brother's widow Catherine, the first of his 6 wives.

The Gate at the Entrance to Canterbury Cathedral

In 1643 the Puritans destroyed the original wooden gate and the statue of Christ. In 1660, Archbishop Juxon replaced the gates and the wood still shows his coat of arms today.

The statue was missing from its place for 350 years, and was finally replaced in 1990 by a piece created by Klaus Ringwald. The new statue stands out as it is made from bronze which has oxidised green over the years. This statue has Christ welcoming people in with his gesture, but his eyes seemed pained and troubled.

The Pedestrian Square Outside Canterbury Cathedral

Christ Church Gate can be admired for free from the square outside Canterbury Cathedral. To see any more, you have to pay an entry fee at the kiosk just inside this gate. There are a lot of carvings, small statues, coats of arms to see embellishing the gate, and it's great to spend some time spotting all the little details.

Much of the old town of Canterbury is pedestrianised, and that includes the small square directly in front of Christ Church Gate. It's a good landmark to head for if you're meeting someone. Sometimes there is a queue of people waiting to enter the Cathedral in the square and there is always a bit of a buzz here. There's a choice of coffee shops and cafes in the ancient cobbled streets leading to cathedral - it's a really nice part of the city.

There are a lot of renovations going on at the moment - 2019 to 2021. The cathedral is having an extensive facelift. Christ Church Gate is included in the project, and so there might be scaffolding in the way for part of the year.

72775 - 2023-01-26 02:04:52


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