Canterbury's first newspaper was the Kentish Post, founded in 1717.[27] It changed its name to the Kentish Gazette in 1768[108] and is still being published, claiming to be the country's second oldest surviving newspaper.[109] It is currently produced as a paid-for newspaper produced by the KM Group, based in nearby Whitstable. This newspaper covers the East Kent area and has a circulation of about 25,000.[110]

The Archbishop of Canterbury is the primate of the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion owing to the importance of St Augustine, who served as the apostle to the pagan Kingdom of Kent around the turn of the 7th century. The city's cathedral became a major focus of pilgrimage following the 1170 martyrdom of Thomas Becket. A journey of pilgrims to his shrine served as the frame for Geoffrey Chaucer's 14th century classic The Canterbury Tales.

Canterbury Cathedral is the Mother Church of the Anglican Communion and seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Founded in 597 AD by Augustine, it forms a World Heritage Site, along with the Saxon St. Martin's Church and the ruins of St Augustine's Abbey. With one million visitors per year, it is one of the most visited places in the country. Services are held at the cathedral three or more times a day.[58][59]

Friday 14 October - Saturday 15 October | Performance

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Welcome to the Canterbury Festival, Kent's International Arts Festival, one of the most important cultural events in the South East. As an independent charity, the Festival brings a rich mixture of performing arts from around the world to surprise and delight audiences.

Saturday 15 October - Saturday 5 November | Science

Monday 17 October - Friday 4 November | Visual Arts

Thursday 27 October - Saturday 29 October | Performance

The Canterbury Catch Club was a musical and social club which met in the city between 1779 and 1865. The club (male only) met weekly in the winter. It employed an orchestra to assist in performances in the first half of the evening. After the interval, the members sang catches and glees from the club's extensive music library (now deposited at the Cathedral Archives in Canterbury).[76]

The city became a county corporate in 1461, and later a county borough under the Local Government Act 1888. In 1974 it lost its status as the smallest county borough in England, after the Local Government Act 1972, and came under the control of Kent County Council.

Notable alumni of the University of Kent include comedian Alan Davies, singer Ellie Goulding, newspaper editor Rosie Boycott, actor Tom Wilkinson, and Booker Prize winning novelist Kazuo Ishiguro,[129] and actor Chris Simmons. In November 2012, Rowan Williams was awarded Freedom of the City for his work as Archbishop of Canterbury between 2003 and 2012.[130]

Wednesday 2 November - Saturday 5 November | Visual Arts

Saturday 15 October - Saturday 5 November | Visual Arts

The Festival inspires artists to create and perform. It commissions new work. It champions emerging talent and supports those seeking careers in the cultural industries. It adds financial and cultural wealth to the Canterbury District and contributes to the wellbeing of its citizens.

Information Governance and Equality Manager Thanet District CouncilStarting Salary £40,638 per annum, with opportunity for progression to £46,328

Compared with the rest of England, the city had an above-average proportion of foreign-born residents, at around 12%. Ninety-five percent of residents were recorded as white; the largest minority group was recorded as Asian, at 1.8% of the population. Religion was recorded as 68.2% Christian, 1.1% Muslim, 0.5% Buddhist, 0.8% Hindu, 0.2% Jewish, and 0.1% Sikh. The rest either had no religion, an alternative religion, or did not state their religion.

Since 1987, the Member of Parliament for the Canterbury constituency, which includes Whitstable, has been the Conservative Julian Brazier.[45] At the 2005 general election, the Conservatives won a majority of 7,471 and 44.4% of the vote in the Canterbury constituency. Labour won 28.7% of the vote, Liberal Democrats 21.1%, the Green Party 3.2%, United Kingdom Independence Party 1.9%, and the Legalise Cannabis Alliance 0.7%.[46]

Full and Part-time places are still available on many of our postgraduate taught courses

Besides the two theatres, theatrical performances take place at several areas of the city, for instance the cathedral and St Augustine's Abbey. The premiere of Murder in the Cathedral by T. S. Eliot took place at Canterbury Cathedral.[69]

At the 2001 UK census,[49][50][51][52][53][54] the total population of the city's urban area wards was 43,432.

In 1647, during the English Civil War, riots broke out when Canterbury's puritan mayor banned church services on Christmas Day. The rioters' trial the following year led to a Kent revolt against the Parliamentarian forces, contributing to the start of the second phase of the war. However, Canterbury surrendered peacefully to the Parliamentarians after their victory at the Battle of Maidstone.[26]

Canterbury used to be served by two other stations. North Lane Station was the southern terminus of the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway between 1830 and 1846. Canterbury South was on the Elham Valley Railway, which opened in 1890 and closed in 1947. A high-speed train service to London St Pancras via Ashford International started on 13 December 2009.

Monday 17 October - Saturday 5 November | Visual Arts

Wednesday 2 November - Thursday 3 November | Performance

The city's first newspaper, the Kentish Post, was founded in 1717.[27] It merged with the newly founded Kentish Gazette in 1768.[28]

Although Canterbury is a place steeped in tradition it is also a modern and vibrant city. 

The Alternative Comedy ShowThe Marlowe TheatreWednesday 28 September

Saturday 15 October - Sunday 30 October | Visual Arts

Saturday 15 October - Sunday 23 October | Visual Arts


The Canterbury Festival takes place over two weeks in October each year in Canterbury and the surrounding towns. It includes a wide range of musical events ranging from opera and symphony concerts to world music, jazz, folk, etc., with a Festival Club, a Fringe and Umbrella events.[88] Canterbury also hosts the annual Lounge On The Farm festival in July, which mainly sees performances from rock, indie and dance artists.

Discover the beautiful coastline of the Canterbury district including Herne Bay and Whitstable.

The countryside that embraces the cathedral city of Canterbury and laps the coastal towns of Whitstabe and Herne Bay is ripe for exploration.

Canterbury is served by 2 local radio stations, KMFM Canterbury and CSR 97.4FM.

Canterbury was the terminus of the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway (known locally as the Crab and Winkle line) which was a pioneer line, opened on 3 May 1830, and closed in 1953. The Canterbury and Whitstable was the first regular passenger steam railway in the world.[97] The first station in Canterbury was at North Lane.

Wednesday 19 October - Saturday 5 November | Visual Arts

The Festival draws audiences of more than 60,000 people of all ages to 200 free and ticketed events in a range of venues from the magnificent Canterbury Cathedral to the Spiegeltent.

During the First World War, a number of barracks and voluntary hospitals were set up around the city, and in 1917 a German bomber crash-landed near Broad Oak Road.[37] During the Second World War, 10,445 bombs dropped during 135 separate raids destroyed 731 homes and 296 other buildings in the city, including the missionary college and Simon Langton Girls' Grammar Schools, and 115 people were killed.[38] The most devastating raid was on 1 June 1942 during the Baedeker Blitz.[37]

Canterbury is associated with several saints from this period who lived in Canterbury:

The city is host to four universities: The University of Kent, Canterbury Christ Church University, the University for the Creative Arts and most recently the American University - Canterbury, a branch of GAU - Girne American University.