As furrylittlegnome’s voyage across the pond is approaching, she thought she would share with all of you a remarkable piece of history in England just an hour and a half outside of London: Canterbury Cathedral.
The entrance to the cathedral is magnificent. Canterbury Gate pays homage to King Henry VII’s eldest son, Arthur – the former Prince of Wales who died in 1502. The Tudor rose (for the Tudor dynasty) and Thomas Becket’s shield are featured as well as the shields of King Henry VII, Prince Arthur and Catherine of Aragon (King Henry VIII’s first wife) above the heavy door.
Once inside the cathedral, you are immediately hit with history. Some of the oldest stained glass in Great Britain can be found here, and the most impressive medieval tomb. The one below is of Edward, Prince of Wales, a military leader, in full armor.
Finally, Canterbury Cathedral is where Thomas Becket – a Catholic who served as the Archbishop of Canterbury for eight years – was assassinated on December 29, 1170. Becket had sided more with the church and Pope Alexander III than with the king. Becket, who later became a saint, was violently murdered by the swords of King Henry II’s knights. Today, a small candle is in the spot where the once popular Thomas Becket shrine stood.
We can’t forget high school English class! “The Canterbury Tales”, written by Geoffrey Chaucer in the late 1300s, chronicles characters from all walks of life making their annual pilgrimage to his shrine.