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St Augustine (d. 604) missionary and archbishop of Canterbury


Lanfranc (c. 1010—1089) archbishop of Canterbury


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In 597 St Augustine arrived in Canterbury and established his first church there. He had been instructed to organize England in two provinces, with archbishops at London and York, but from the first the place of London was taken by Canterbury. Its archbishop is ‘Primate of All England’. See also Anglican Communion.

According to Bede, an existing Roman basilica was consecrated by Augustine as the Cathedral Church of Christ. Destroyed by fire in 1067, the church was rebuilt by Lanfranc, extended under Anselm, and consecrated in 1130. After a fire in 1174 the choir was rebuilt in transitional style; under Abp. Sudbury the nave was pulled down and rebuilt in perpendicular style. The chief glory of the cathedral in the Middle Ages was the shrine of St Thomas Becket, dedicated in 1220.

About 598 a monastery, dedicated to Sts Peter and Paul, was established east of the city to accommodate the bodies of future bishops and kings. In 978 St Dunstan rededicated the conventual church in honour of Sts Peter and Paul and St Augustine, and the monastery came to be known as St Augustine's. A building on the site opened as a college for the training of missionaries in 1848; it has since been used for various other purposes.

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