Trip Planner:   Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Kent  /  Canterbury  /  Historic Sites  /  St. Martin's Church
St. Martin's Church, Canterbury
(4.4/5 based on 100+ reviews on the web)
The Church of St Martin in Canterbury, England, situated slightly beyond the city centre, is the first church founded in England, the oldest parish church in continuous use and the oldest church in the entire English-speaking world. As such, it is recognised, along with Canterbury Cathedral and St Augustine's Abbey, as part of a World Heritage Site. Since 1668 the church has been part of the benefice of St Martin and St Paul Canterbury. Both St Martin's and nearby St Paul's churches are used for weekly services. The current rector of the parish is the Revd Canon Noelle Hall.Early historySt Martin's was the private chapel of Queen Bertha of Kent in the 6th century before Augustine arrived from Rome. Queen Bertha was a Christian Frankish princess who arrived in England with her Chaplain, Bishop Liudhard. King Æthelberht of Kent, her pagan husband, allowed her to continue to practise her religion by renovating (ca. AD 580) an existing church which the Venerable Bede says had been in use in the late Roman period but had fallen into disuse. As Bede specifically names it, this church was dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours, a city located near where Bertha grew up.Upon Augustine's arrival he used St Martin's as his mission headquarters, immediately enlarging it (AD 597), and King Æthelberht was soon baptised here. With the quickly subsequent establishments of Canterbury Cathedral and St Augustine's Abbey, St Martin's lost prestige but retains its priority and historical importance.
Using our online itinerary creator, Canterbury attractions like St. Martin's Church can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
Source
Create a full Canterbury itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Canterbury

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Canterbury by other users

7 days in London & Canterbury BY A USER FROM JAPAN December, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 23 days in Ireland, Scotland & England BY A USER FROM ARGENTINA April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Canterbury BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM December, culture, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: December, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 21 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA May, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in United Kingdom & Dublin BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: May, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in Southeast England BY A USER FROM INDIA December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Canterbury BY A USER FROM CANADA November, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Kent BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM November, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 6 days in Kent BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM November, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM ARGENTINA January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Kent BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM BRAZIL December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This church is up the hill above the ruined abbey, the other side of the old prison (now university buildings). It was built by queen Bertha (herself the daughter of a Marovinian Frankish king, so not...  more »
  • Just minutes from central Canterbury is this beautiful church- the oldest in the English speaking world. You can still see parts of a Roman wall, artwork, "squint" box, and more. This church, which st...  more »
  • This small church is surrounded by lovely grounds, and although small, it essentially represents the beginning of Christianity in England. The church itself is the product of many centuries' work, but...  more »
Google
  • Very very old church and beautiful cemetry . Short walk from abbey.
  • Tiny little church. This is the oldest open church in United Kingdom. Interesting to see and it has very nice overview to the city of Canterbury.
  • It's a place where you feel coming back in the past, a lot of mystery between the old graves, the quiet . It is very interesting even because it is a place of the world cultural hetitage.
  • This is the oldest church in England that is still in use. Its age is easily apparent - there are some very old graves, as well as newer ones. The church itself is tiny and medieval, with sparse but historical designs inside. The crucifix is of aged wood. The cemetery is small but filled with graves and crosses, and a few trees to provide shade. It gets very muddy when it rains though. Behind the church is a little hill with benches and a couple of maps, which makes it a great place to rest for a while.
  • Few of the street section
    View original