St Augustine’s Abbey | World Heritage Site

St Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury, Kent
St Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury

St Augustine's Abbey is a historic Abbey located in Canterbury, Kent and forms part of the World Heritage Site (WHS) in Canterbury. The Abbey offers visitors the chance to visit a historically significant site of great importance however the Abbey does not have the public profile of the well known Canterbury Cathedral located close by and some visitors to the area unfortunately miss the opportunity to see the Abbey's ruins. The Abbey is an attraction in its own right and forms along with St Martin's Church and Canterbury Cathedral, the World Heritage Site (WHS). The Abbey has been part of a number of important events throughout its history, today visitors can see the ruins of the Abbey and visit the museum on site.

Overview


St Augustine's Abbey is both a historic and religiously significant place, the Abbey was founded after 597AD by St Augustine. The Abbey was originally created for use as a monastery and a burial place for the Archbishops of Canterbury and Kings of Kent. Over the years the site has suffered damage including during the great storm in 1703 that caused further damage to the site. Over the years the site has become a ruin, however previously at its peak the Abbey's church was a size comparable to Canterbury Cathedral located close by.

The site is among the most important monastic sites in England, however given the site is now in ruins it is now a much smaller site than would have been the case in its heyday as a place where education was given on the Christian faith. Over the centuries there have been a number of buildings on the site, there have been several extensions to existing buildings and restorations of buildings too. In the present day the most prominent building at the site is the north wall of the nave of the Norman church which still stands today. The majority of the site is now in ruins but still gives a few clues to visitors as to what used to be here.

There have been excavations done at the site and the remains of four Saxon church buildings were uncovered. For the Norman Church built in the 11th century there are still the remains of the crypt that has survived surprising well and forms the main part of the site.

For the claustral buildings there is currently very little above foundation level, whilst other monastic buildings such as the infirmary are actually located beneath the playing field.

Forming part of the Canterbury World Heritage Site, the Abbey Church and monastic buildings offer visitors an insight in to the past, the site has been described as the place that helped re introduce Christianity to Southern England. There is also a museum and exhibition hall for visitors to see to learn more about the site, its significance and the local history including the reintroduction of the Christian faith in to England. There are also free audio tours of the site for visitors to enjoy whilst here.

The close proximity to Canterbury Cathedral and St Martin’s Church located relatively close by offers visitors the opportunity to visit all three WHS on a trip to Canterbury.


How To Get There


The Abbey is assessable by both car and public transport:

By Car:

Canterbury is connected to the UK Motorway network via the M20 and M2 Motorways. Canterbury has a number of car parks for car divers to park.

By Train:

South Eastern trains operate a regular train services from London Victoria and London Charing Cross stations to Canterbury East station and Canterbury West station. Visitors that arrive at either of the Canterbury stations will find the Abbey to be walking distance from the stations.

There are also train services from Ashford to Canterbury West for those using Eurostar services.

By Coach:

Stagecoach East Kent buses provide local bus services in Canterbury and the surrounding areas. The Canterbury bus station is located in the centre of Canterbury and a short walk from the Cathedral and both train stations.

National Express offer a number of coach services in to and out of Canterbury. From London Victoria coach station there are services available to Canterbury, offering visitors a cost effective way to visit the area.


Contact Details


Address:

St Augustine's Abbey
Longport
Canterbury
CT1 1TF
United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 (0)1227 767345

Website: St Augustine's Abbey


Facilities and Information


Opening Times:

The Abbey is usually open around the year.

April to End of June: 10:00 to 17:00 (Wed to Sun & Bank Holidays)

July to End of August: 10:00 to 18:00 (Mon to Sun)

September to End of October: 10:00 to 17:00 (Sat & Sun)

November to End of March: 10.00 to 16.00 (Sat & Sun)

Note: Closed 24 to 26 Dec and 1 January..


Further Information:

Admission Fees:

Adults: £4.30 approx

Children: £2.20 approx

Concessions: £3.70 approx

Family Ticket: £10.80 approx


Map



View Larger Map

For Local Search and Directions see: St Augustine’s Abbey Map


Tips & Other Considerations


There may be some variations on the opening hours depending on the time of year and other factors. Visitors are advised to double check before going to ensure the Abbey is open and avoid disappointment.

When travelling always remain alert and aware of your surroundings and environment. Follow sensible travel safety advice and ensure your belongings in particular your wallet/purse and valuables are hidden away from public view (particularly at tourist attractions & places with crowds). If you have a bag try to use a shoulder bag with a good quality, strong strap, that is put across your shoulder not on your shoulder making it more difficult for anyone to take your bag.

If you are travelling by car to Canterbury in Kent ensure you are well prepared with maps and Sat Nav to aid your journey, particularly if you are not familiar with the local area and roads. For door to door directions for car and public transport journeys see the Route Planning tool for more information.

If you are looking for local car parking in Canterbury, ensure you fully understand the rules, regulations & charges for car parks and street parking. The rules & regulations can be complex if you are not sure it is wise not to park there.

If you are travelling by public transport, check for service updates prior to beginning your journey for any delays, disruption or cancellations to services that may impact on your journey. Ensure you have the service timetables for the trains, buses and coaches. Remember when the last services are and ensure you make it to the train/bus/coach stops well in time to avoid missing the service.


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