Secondary School Visits
Discover Canterbury Cathedral on one of our curriculum linked Secondary visits. Choose from the visits detailed below or contact the School Department to arrange a bespoke visit tailored to your particular requirements. It may be possible to include a session in the Cathedral Archives and Library during your visit, exploring items from our extensive collections that are relevant to the learning objectives for your visit. This will incur a small extra charge; please contact the Schools Department to discuss further.
Our students were fascinated by their tour. It’s no small achievement to hold the attention of twenty two 16 year olds for nearly two hours.
Head of History
It is also possible to book a self-led, entrance only visit to the Cathedral.
This visit will support your study of Christian places of Worship and emphasise the special nature of Canterbury Cathedral as such a place of Worship. During your visit we will consider the different services that take place, the furniture and features of the Cathedral, symbolism, beliefs and practices and Christian festivals. The tour can also include a quiet time of reflection involving the lighting of candles.
If you would like the opportunity to meet a Cathedral Chaplain as part of your visit, please contact the Schools Department to further discuss your requirements.
Discover why Canterbury Cathedral became such an important centre for pilgrimage in medieval times and find out why pilgrims still visit today. Visiting groups will find out about the foundation of the Cathedral in 597AD, as well as the events that took place in December 1170 when Archbishop Thomas Becket was brutally murdered in the Cathedral. There will also be an opportunity to consider what pilgrimage has meant both in the past and present and how it has shaped the Cathedral that stands today.
The development of Church, State and Society in Medieval Britain 1066 – 1509
The struggle between church and crown – explore key areas of the Cathedral building and Precincts to find out about Thomas Becket’s turbulent relationship with King Henry II and the sequence of events that led up to his brutal murder in the Cathedral in December 1170. Discover how Canterbury Cathedral subsequently became one of the key sites of pilgrimage in Europe right up to the destruction of the shrine of Saint Thomas during the reign of King Henry VIII.
Stephen Langton (Archbishop of Canterbury 1207 – 1228) was not only a leading figure in the Church but also one of the most important figures in the history of Magna Carta and may well have helped to compose the Charter. Find out about Canterbury Cathedral in the time of Magna Carta including the translation of Becket’s shrine to the Trinity Chapel in 1220, exactly fifty years after Becket’s death.
Religion in Daily Life
During the 10th Century, Canterbury Cathedral became a formal community of Benedictine monks. This continued until the monastery was dissolved by King Henry VIII in 1540. Many of the monastic buildings survive to this day. Tour the Great Cloister and Chapter House and see the remains of the monk’s dormitories and necessarium (communal toilets) to discover what day-to-day life was like for a medieval monk.
The development of Church, State and Society in Medieval Britain 1509 – 1745
The Cathedral and surrounding buildings provide a rich resource for discovering more about the English reformation and its impact on this and other cathedrals up and down the country. We recommend that this visit is supported by a session in the Cathedral Library and Archives where there are many items from the Cathedral Collections to support this area of study.
Local History Study
Since its foundation in 597 AD, Canterbury Cathedral has witnessed a series of events that have shaped British History. From the arrival of Augustine towards the end of the 6th Century, through the dramatic events that took place in December 1170 when Archbishop Thomas Becket was brutally murdered in the Cathedral, leading to Canterbury becoming the most important site of pilgrimage in the United Kingdom. The subsequent destruction of St Thomas Becket’s shrine and the dissolution of the monastery in Tudor times continue the story further.
A Level/Post 16 Study
We are always happy to put together a bespoke visit for your group, tailored to your specific requirements and can provide an opportunity for students to speak to a member of the clergy.
A Background to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
Find out about Canterbury Cathedral in the time of Geoffrey Chaucer. The Canterbury Tales tells the story of a group of pilgrims travelling from the Tabard Inn at Southwark to the shrine of Thomas Becket in the Cathedral. Take a tour around the Cathedral to discover what the pilgrims would have seen upon their arrival and what they would have experienced along the way.
Further visits are available to support other curriculum areas (e.g. History – The Reformation).