The Catholic Church of St Thomas of Canterbury
was built behind the former site of St Mary Magdalene (whose tower is on
the right here). The church name plaque on the wall outside the building
states. 'In the chapel of the English martyrs are some relics of St Thomas,
martyred in Canterbury on 29th December, 1170'. The church, which was built
about 1750 following the re-establishment of Catholism in Canterbury, has
one bell in the enclosed central turret
In 1855, Mary Ann Wood gave the house at 60 Burgate
Street (now 59 Burgate) for the use of 'a priest in the city of Canterbury',
which allowed Catholic worship to begin in the city for the first time since
the reign of Mary Tudor. The church was built on the old St Mary Magdalene
burial ground in 1874-1875. It was designed by John Green Hall, who was also
responsible for St Lawrence in York and the Guildhall Street Church, and was
opened for worship on 13 April 1875.
St Michael Burgate existed close to the
northern side of the approach to the Burgate. The church was probably
Norman, erected during an ecclesiastic building-boom. Its date of
closure is not known, but 1349 (the closure of both St John's and St
Edmund's) or 1486 (St Mary de Casto) would be most likely. Its parish
was united to St Mary Magdalene and the church's remains converted into
a dwelling house. By 1852, some of the old church walls still stood.
Zoar Strict & Particular Baptist Chapel
lies in a modified 'D' turret in the city wall, on the eastern side
of Burgate Lane. This Baptist persuasion formed in 1633. In 1801 a
cistern for the city's water supply was moved from St George's Gate
and housed in the turret, but in 1845 the present chapel was built
over the reservoir. The Particular Baptists and the New Connexion
united in 1891 to form the Baptist Union of Great Britain &
Ireland, and the chapel is still in use today.
St Mary Queningate (or Queeningate) lay
behind the Queningate itself (now represented by the square tower here,
which was the old Roman Postern Gate), opposite the entrance to Lady
Wootons Green. The church, or chapel, is believed to have been Saxon,
but it was a minor one which was poorly recorded. In 1381, the rector
exchanged it for St Michael's Church, proving its existence at that
date, but no later. It was probably closed in 1486, but some foundations
The Church of St Paul without the Walls
shares the parish with St Martin's (below). It is located on Church
Street, just outside the city walls, and may stand on the site of a
Roman cemetery chapel as it is sited just outside the Burgate, close
to a site which has produced Roman burials. A Saxon church certainly
existed here, but the current building, with its round, Early English
pillars, was built in the thirteenth century, and a burial ground was
established in 1591.
In the fourteenth century the church was extended
so that it joined up with the free-standing tower. In 1490 a parishioner
named Richard Cram donated towards a new pair of organs. A Victorian print
of the church shows the outer walls to have been rendered in white, but this
was removed to redisplay the original knapped flint walls, probably in 1876
when the church was enlarged and partially rebuilt, with a new aisle and
vestry being added.
St Martin's Church is the very first Anglo-Saxon
parish church. Around AD 580, King Ethelbert of Kent gave his Christian wife
a place of worship in an old Roman building on this site. When in 597 Pope
Gregory sent Augustine to convert the pagan English, he and his party were
also allowed to worship here, extending it before constructing the first
Canterbury Cathedral. The Roman red bricks that were used to build the walls
of the present church can still be seen today.
It is debatable how much of the original, Roman-brick
church survives. Saxon building work replaced some of it when the church was
extended in the seventh century. Many of the Saxon, or perhaps even original
Roman, windows have been blocked off, possibly by Norman work. In 1845 the
vestry was built, so the west end of the north wall had to be pulled down,
but the church remains in use, around 1429 years after it was first given to
Queen Bertha for worship.
Seventh-Day Adventist Church is on the eastern
side of Stodmarsh Road, close to the Littlebourne Road junction. Adventist
roots go back at least to the early 1800s. Then William Miller, a Baptist
preacher, predicted Christ's second coming in 1844 and, despite the lack
of a positive result, he managed to retain a small number of his followers.
The Stodmarsh church is comparatively new, while the single-storey extension
to the side of the church was erected in 2003.
All photos on this page by P L Kessler. Additional
information by Tricia Baxter.