Canterbury Castle

Canterbury Castle lies in the city of the same name, in the county of Kent in England.

Canterbury Castle was built between 1085 and 1125 to replace a predecessor. This predecessor, an earth and timber motte-and-bailey castle, had been situated some 150 meters to the south east.

The 'new' castle, built out of stone, was erected in a corner of the Roman city walls. It consisted of a massive rectangular keep, the 3rd largest in England after Dover and Rochester, with a bailey surrounded by a curtain wall, partly using the Roman city wall, and a ditch. It was one of three Royal castles in Kent.

In 1216 the castle was captured by Baronial-French forces during the First Barons' War. Later during the 13th century it began being used as a prison, a function it would serve for around the next 300 years. By 1609 however it was an abandoned ruin.

During the 18th century its curtain wall was removed and the ruined keep deteriorated further. In 1825 it was bought to be used as a coal store.

When I visited, Canterbury Castle was freely accessible during daytime. I read that since 2018 it has been closed due to the risk of falling masonry but that it might reopen in 2021. A nice compact castle ruin. And of course the historical town center with its cathedral is worth visiting too.


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Canterbury Castle

Canterbury Castle lies in the city of the same name, in the county of Kent in England.

Canterbury Castle was built between 1085 and 1125 to replace a predecessor. This predecessor, an earth and timber motte-and-bailey castle, had been situated some 150 meters to the south east.

The 'new' castle, built out of stone, was erected in a corner of the Roman city walls. It consisted of a massive rectangular keep, the 3rd largest in England after Dover and Rochester, with a bailey surrounded by a curtain wall, partly using the Roman city wall, and a ditch. It was one of three Royal castles in Kent.

In 1216 the castle was captured by Baronial-French forces during the First Barons' War. Later during the 13th century it began being used as a prison, a function it would serve for around the next 300 years. By 1609 however it was an abandoned ruin.

During the 18th century its curtain wall was removed and the ruined keep deteriorated further. In 1825 it was bought to be used as a coal store.

When I visited, Canterbury Castle was freely accessible during daytime. I read that since 2018 it has been closed due to the risk of falling masonry but that it might reopen in 2021. A nice compact castle ruin. And of course the historical town center with its cathedral is worth visiting too.


Gallery