St Martin’s Church | World Heritage Site

St Martin's Church, Canterbury, Kent
St Martin's Church, Canterbury - © David Long

St Martin's Church is a historic church located in Canterbury, Kent. The church is the oldest church still used as a parish church with worship taking place since before 597AD. St Martin's along with the famous Canterbury Cathedral and the less well known St Augustine’s Abbey form the basis for the World Heritage Site (WHS) in Canterbury. St Martin's is a church of important historical significance with worship by early Christians here before the arrival of St. Augustine. The church is still very much in use today with regular services. Visitors to the site will get a chance to see and learn more about this important historic site that has played a central role in a number of important events over the years.


St Martin's Church is located close by to Canterbury city centre, the oldest parish church in continuous use is still active today and has been so since before 597AD. The church got its name from St. Martin, Bishop of Tours in France, where Queen Bertha resided prior to marrying Ethelbert King of Kent. The church is thought to date back to Roman times with clues such as the use of many Roman bricks in the church buildings and may have been in operation towards the end of the Roman occupation of England. It was here that St Augustine set up the mission after he arrived in 597AD, the church is also referred to as first church of the Anglican Communion.

In the 7th century it is thought the western half of the church was rebuilt and the tower being built in the 14th century. The churchyard contains the graves of a number of well known people such as Thomas Sidney Cooper and of local people.

Canterbury Cathedral and St Augustine’s Abbey are located relatively close by to St Martin's offering visitors a great opportunity to visit all three WHS on a trip to Canterbury.

How To Get There

The Church is assessable by both car and public transport:

By Car:

Canterbury is connected to the UK Motorway network via the M2 and M20 Motorways. Canterbury has a number of car parks close by in the city centre.

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


St Martin's Church
Church St (St Paul's)
United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 (0)1227 768072

Website: St Martin’s Church

Facilities and Information

Opening Times:

The Church is open for visitors are the times shown below. On religious days in the year, the church may have varying opening times.

Tuesdays: From 11.00 to 15.00

Thursdays: From 11.00 to 15.00

Saturdays: From 11.00 to 15.00

Further Information:

Admission Fees:

Free Admission


View Larger Map

For Local Search and Directions see: St Martin's Church 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 Church is open and avoid disappointment.

When travelling always remain alert and aware of your surroundings and environment. Follow 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. Use the Route Planner for door to door directions for public transport and car journeys.

If you are looking for local car parking in Canterbury, ensure you fully understand the rules, regulations & charges for car parks and street parking before you park. 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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