This wonderful high-vaulted cathedral was designed within the French Gothic style by William of Sens in 1070 and was the first Gothic church in England. It was constructed to replicate Canterbury’s rising ecclesiastical rank as a significant center of Christianity by the first Norman archbishop, Lanfranc, on the ruins of an Anglo-Saxon cathedral. Enlarged and rebuilt many times, it stays an distinctive example of the totally different kinds of medieval structure. Probably the most important moment in its historical past came in 1170, when Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered right here. In 1220, Becket’s body was moved to a brand new shrine in Trinity Chapel, which, till Henry VIII destroyed it, was certainly one of Christendom’s chief pilgrimage sites.
THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
When Archbishop Theobold died in 1161, King Henry II noticed the chance to extend his power over the Church by consecrating his devoted adviser, Thomas Becket, as the Archbishop of Canterbury-essentially the most outstanding ecclesiastical position within the kingdom. The king mistakenly believed that this is able to permit him to exert pressure on the Church. Becket’s loyalty shifted and the struggle between Church and monarch for ultimate control of the realm culminated in the murder of Becket on December 29, 1170, by 4 knights trying to achieve the king’s favor. Individuals flocked to mourn him and, three days later, a series of miracles occurred that have been attributed to Becket. After Becket’s canonization in 1173, Canterbury Cathedral grew to become a significant center of pilgrimage.
THE ENGLISH REFORMATION
In 1534, Henry VIII broke with the Church of Rome when the pope refused to divorce him from Catherine of Aragon. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, was made to do so instead. The Church of England was created, with Henry as its supreme head and the Archbishop of Canterbury its ecclesiastical guide. The Book of Common Prayer, compiled by Cranmer, grew to become the cornerstone of the Church of England.
BLACK PRINCE’S TOMB
Edward, Prince of Wales, often known as “The Black Prince,” gained popularity as leader of the victorious English military on the Battle of Crecy in 1346. The copper effigy on the Black Prince’s Tomb is among the most spectacular in the cathedral.