RomanSucceeding an important late Iron Age settlement, the civitas-capital of Durovernum was laid out on either side of the Great Stour in the later 1st cent., with a rather irregular street-grid. Canterbury had an above-average range of public buildings. The site of a forum/basilica complex is known; adjacent to it was a large temple precinct with associated masonry theatre, and a public baths with portico. All date from the late 1st and early 2nd cents. In the late 3rd cent. walls enclosing 130 acres were constructed. Excavations have shown artisan buildings and larger private houses alongside the public buildings. By the later 4th cent. the town was in decay. The relationship of Roman to Anglo-Saxon Canterbury is vexed; there was activity within the walls for much of the 5th cent., and some of the earliest Anglo-Saxon churches might have late Roman origins.
Alan Simon Esmonde Cleary
post-RomanCanterbury re-emerged as the capital of a pagan English kingdom of Kent, to which St Augustine was sent by Pope Gregory the Great in 597. Gregory intended the new English church to have archbishops at London and York, but a series of historical accidents led to Augustine and his successors remaining at Canterbury. It became one of the larger English walled towns, with a self-governing corporation, but it was dominated until the 1530s by its two great abbeys of Christ Church (the cathedral) and St Augustine's. The many distinguished archbishops included Thomas Becket, whose murder in the cathedral in 1170 led to his canonization; when the cathedral was rebuilt after a fire in 1174, it was designed to focus on his tomb, which became one of the great pilgrimage shrines of the West. The city suffered economically from the dissolutions at the Reformation, but revived modestly through silk-weaving introduced by Walloon refugees, and later as a social centre for gentry and clergy. In the Second World War the historic core was heavily bombed, but enough is left for the city to remain a major tourist centre. Pride of place goes to the cathedral and close, with a rich legacy of surviving and well-documented buildings.
David M. Palliser
CANTERBURY , cathedral city, Kent, England. Canterbury possessed one of the most important medieval Anglo-Jewish communities, first mentioned c. 1160. The Jewish quarter was in the modern Jewry Street. Traces of the synagogue were to be seen in the High Street as late as the 17th century. Canterbury was the seat of one of the local *archa instituted after 1190 for registering Jewish-held debts. The names of 20 Jewish Canterbury householders figure in the *Northampton Donum of 1194: the contribution of the Jews of Canterbury on this occasion was exceeded only by those from London and Lincoln. In the levy of 1255, however, they ranked only eighth. The community was attacked in 1261 and again in 1264, when the archa was seized and several Jews were killed. Subsequently,
there seems to have been some immigration into Canterbury. In 1266, 18 local Jewish householders bound themselves to see that no "liars, improper persons, or slanderers" should be admitted to the Jewish community. After the Statutum de Judaismo of 1275, the Canterbury Jews began trading in corn and wool (see *England). In 1279 they were implicated in the general accusation of debasing the coinage. The whole community was confined in the castle and six Jews were eventually hanged. Jews resettled in Canterbury early in the 18th century. A congregation was formed c. 1730 and a burial ground was acquired in 1760. A synagogue erected in 1763 was demolished in 1847 to make place for the railway and replaced by another building with a quaint semi-Egyptian exterior. By the early 20th century there was no Jewish congregation in Canterbury and the former synagogue was now used as a parish hall. In the mid-1990s the Jewish population numbered approximately 35. However, according to the 2001 British census, 210 Jews lived in Canterbury and its surrounding districts.
Adler, in: jhset, 7 (1911–14), 19–96; M. Adler, Jews of Medieval England (1939), 47–124; House of Jacob the Jew of Canterbury (1953); Rigg, Exchequer, passim; C. Roth, Rise of Provincial Jewry (1950), 46–49; idem, Intellectual Activities of Medieval English Jewry (1949), 13, 29–32; Roth, England, index. add. bibliography: D. Cohn-Sherbok, The Jews of Canterbury, 1760–1931 (1984).
Canterbury bell a bellflower grown for ornament, named with reference to the bells on pilgrims' horses.
Canterbury gallop a slow easy gallop, supposedly the pace of mounted pilgrims.
Canterbury tale a story told on a pilgrimage (originally one of Chaucer's cycle of linked tales told by a group of pilgrims); a long tedious story.