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Christ Church Gate of Canterbury Cathedral

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by Susan Hambidge (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Kent in the UK. Visit one of my pages at
Published February 3rd 2020
Take a Moment to Admire Christ Church Gate in Canterbury
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.

Canterbury Cathedral, Gate, Entrance
Christ Church Gate marks the entrance to Canterbury Cathedral

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.

Christ Church gate, Canterbury
The bronze statue of Christ on the gate in Canterbury

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.

The entrance to Canterbury Cathedral
The streets and square outside of Canterbury Cathedral are quaint and atmospheric.

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.
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Why? To see the grand gates of Canterbury Cathedral
When: See the gate 24 hours a day
Where: Where Sun Street & Burgate meet, Canterbury, Kent
Cost: Free
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