Project Canterbury

Guide to St. Augustine's Monastery and Missionary College.

By Robert Ewell.

Canterbury: Cross and Jackman, 1896.

Transcribed by the Right Reverend Dr. Terry Brown
Retired Bishop of Malaita, 2009

The College is open to Visitors, by permission of the Warden, for which a small fee is charged.

In the Winter Months, from 1.15 till 4.
In the Winter Vacation from 11 till 4.
In the Summer Months from 1.15 till 5.
In the Summer Vacation from 11 till 5.


St. Augustine's Monastery


Missionary College



Published with the sanction of the Warden






I have been induced to write this little Sketch of the History of St. Augustine's, and Guide to the present buildings, by the repeated inquiry of many of the visitors whom I have had the pleasure of taking over the College. The question has been asked why a Guide has not been written. They assured me that many would like to take home something to remind them of their visit to St. Augustine's, and recall to their memory what has been told them about it.

In the compiling of this little Book I have to acknowledge my obligations to "Thomas of Elmham's Historia Monasterii S. Augustini," edited for the Rolls Series by Archdeacon Hardwick; to "Lives of the English Saints"; to "Ireland's History of Kent"' to "St. Augustine's, its Rise, Ruin and Restoration," by Canon Maclear, D.D., Warden of St Augustine's; and to the "College Occasional Papers." My best thanks [III/IV] are due to the Authors of that most interesting book, "Rambles Round old Canterbury," for their kindness in allowing me to make extracts from it; also the Council of the British Archaeological Society for leave to reproduce the Rev. Mackenzie C. E. Walcott's plan of the Abbey; and lastly to the Rev. M. J. Simmonds, Fellow and late Librarian of St. Augustine's College for many valuable suggestions.

I venture to hope that you may find as great a pleasure in reading it as I have in writing it


May, 1896.



[1] A Short Account

of the

History of St. Augustine's Monastery.

THE history of the Abbey of St Augustine dates from the earliest years of the reintroduction of Christianity into this part of Britain by the Missionaries of St. Gregory. The Christians of the earlier times had been driven westward to the fastnesses of Wales and Cornwall by successive waves of foreign invasions, and a clear field was thus left open in East Anglia for the labours of the new comers.

It was some time between the autumn of 596 and the early spring of the year 597 that Augustine and his [1/2] companions (increased by the addition of the interpreters, whom they had taken up in France, to the number of forty persons) first set foot on English ground. At what point of the long range of lowlands they disembarked is not positively known, but Ebbsfleet is believed to have been their landing place. That is, some high land at the head of Pegwell Bay, the traditional landing place of the Jutes. Other places are mentioned, viz.: Cliffsend, Richborough and Stonar, the two last being on the mainland. Bede states that they landed on the Isle of Thanet; he received his information from the Abbot and Monks of St. Augustine's, and from ancient writings.

Visitors who may be attracted to this interesting locality in the year 1897, the 1300th Anniversary of St. Augustine's coming to Canterbury, will find the aspect of the country greatly changed since the time of his landing. They will now see green fields and large tracts of low marshy land where the Wantsum ebbed and flowed past the castle and harbour of Richborough to the castle of Reculver on the other side of the Island. Sandwich, then an important seaport, is now some miles inland; for the sea has receded some miles from this side of the island, while it has gained on the other side of Reculver. Visitors will find the supposed site midway between Minster and Ramsgate, and about two miles inland from Pegwell Bay.

A few years ago a great desire arose in the minds of many antiquaries to mark with some memorial the meeting place of Augustine and King Ethelbert. The late Earl [2/3] Granville, then Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, who took special interest in the matter, planted a young oak about 25 feet from the spot on which the historic tree had stood until it was felled about 60 years before. His Lordship afterwards erected a memorial cross similar to the great cross at Sandbach in Cheshire.

When St. Augustine and his fellow missionaries passed along the Vale of the Stour to Canterbury, the rude descendants of the Jutish pirates, who had settled in the Lathes of Kent, evinced no disposition to abandon the old mythology of Northern Europe. It was time that Christianity should cease to be arrayed against them as the creed of enemies whom they had fought, subjugated, tortured and destroyed. The foreign worship was now celebrated under the auspices of Queen Bertha in Canterbury itself and thus apart from any influences which might have been exerted by Celtic slaves, or by occasional tidings of the Irish Missionaries, who were active on the Northern coast of Britain, the public mind was being silently prepared for a solemnity which claims to be regarded as the starting point in the great march of English civilization--the baptism of King Ethelbert, at Canterbury, on Whit Sunday, A.D. 597. As Canterbury became the earliest seat of Anglo-Saxon Christianity, the primitive centre both of intellectual and religious illumination for the Southern shires of England was the Abbey of St. Augustine. Founded by King Ethelbert and St. Augustine in 597, in the suburbs of the city, it incorporated with itself a heathen Fane, which, on conversion to [3/4] Christian use, was dedicated in honour of the Roman boy Pancratius. [The Patron Saint of Little Children, martyred at the early age of 14 years. St. Andrew's Monastery on the Caelian Hill at Rome, from which Augustine came, was built on part of the property of his family.]

"The foundation was now laid of that goodly work which had occupied so chief a place in the wishes and prayers of that great St. Gregory, from the day of his providential encounter with the English slaves in the market place at Rome. The very prediction which he uttered on that occasion had received its literal fulfilment. Alleluia had been chanted in the English Dominion.

The foundation stone of the Monastery was laid in the year 598; but so great was its extent that full seven years passed away before it was fit for occupation. The Church was completed and consecrated by Archbishop Lawrence, in 613, in the presence of the King and his Court, and was dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul: was rededicated by Archbishop Dunstan, in 971, to St. Peter and St. Paul and St. Augustine. As late however as 1325, when the High Altar was dedicated afresh, St. Peter and St. Paul were still enumerated at the head of a list of Saints who were supposed to exercise especial patronage within the sacred enclosure. But it was generally known as the Abbey of St. Augustine. [See "Lives of the English Saints."]


The main object of Ethelbert and Augustine was to found in the new Monastery an appropriate burial place, not only for themselves but for their successors in all future [4/5] ages; the site was chosen some distance from the city and inclosed within its walls an old Roman or Saxon cemetery. On the completion of the Church the remains of Augustine were brought from the open cemetery where they had been first interred, and placed in the northern porch, which from that time became the burying place of the Archbishops of Canterbury till the time of Theodore and Berthwald, who were buried further within the Church, while the bodies of Queen Bertha and her Confessor Luidhard, who pre-deceased the King, were buried in the porch of St. Martin, and on the death of the King he was also buried there. The Christian kings of Kent who succeeded him, and nearly seventy Abbots of the Monastery, wm buried within the precincts of the Church. St. Augustine's tomb bore the following simple inscription in the days of Bede:--

"Here resteth the Lord Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury, who erewhile was sent hither by Blessed Gregory, Bishop of the City of Rome, and being helped by God to work miracles, drew over King Ethelbert and his race from the worship of idols to the faith of Christ. Having ended in peace the days of his ministry, he departed hence seven days before the Kalends of June (May 26th) in the reign of the same King, A.D. 605."

This Monastery received many rich endowments and high immunities from successive Kings of England. Ethelbert, the founder, granted it an exemption from taxes and some peculiar manorial rights; it had likewise the privilege of a mint for coinage of money, (granted, some [5/6] say, by Ethelbert, others by Athelstan, and enjoyed it till the reign of King Stephen). Ethelbert's successor, Edbald besides building St. Mary's Chapel, (this Chapel was taken down by Abbot Scoland, in the time of Lanfranc), endowed it with the Manor of Northbourne, and among its benefactors were also reckoned the succeeding Kings Lothaire, Withred, Edbert, Edmund, Kenelwulf, Cuthrod, Ethelwolf, Ethelbert King of the West Saxons, Canute, St. Edgar and St. Edward the Confessor. About this time, 673, it received, among the gifts from Rome, which consisted chiefly of relics, "two MS. copies of the Gospels, one of which is said to be still preserved in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and the other at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. If this is so they are the most ancient books that ever were read in England; If I may so call them, the Mother Books of England, the first beginning of English Literature, of English Learning, of English Education, and St. Augustine's Abbey was the Mother-School, the Mother University of England, the seat of Letters and Study, at a time when Cambridge was a desolate fen, and Oxford a tangled forest in a wide waste of water." [See "Stanley's Memorials of Canterbury."]

The Abbot had a special privilege of wearing the mitre, the sandals and the gloves, after the manner of prelates of the Episcopal Order. [This was granted by Pope Leo in 1055.] In General Councils the [6/7] Abbot of St. Augustine's was placed next to the Abbot of Monte Casino, the head of the Benedictine Order. [Dean Hook in his Lives of the Archbishops, Vol. 4, p. 174, gives us a further description of an Abbot of one of the great Ecclesiastical Monasteries. How, when he sat in Parliament, he appeared in his gown, his hood and his cassock. When he rode forth to take his pastime, it was with a hawk on his fist, mounted on his mule, with gilt bridle, and with saddle and cloth of blood colour; his retinue of l00 horse equalled if it did not surpass, that of a Bishop.]

"One of the most interesting benefactions which St. Augustine's Monastery received was that of King Canute, who transferred to it all the endowments of the Convent of Minster in the Isle of Thanet, including the body of St. Mildred. The history of the event is as follows. Minster was several times plundered and burned by the Danes and its sacred inmates put to the sword. After the last disaster in 1011 it was occupied by a few Secular priests only, till at length in 1027 King Canute made over all its possessions to St. Augustine's, and allowed the monks to remove St. Mildred's body, a step which was most violently resisted by the priests of Minster, who pursued the monks to the neighbouring river across which they escaped with their precious spoil.

The fame of these relics had spread throughout Europe. The belief in their miraculous powers sufficed to bring hosts of pilgrims to St. Augustine's, whose gifts enriched the Abbey, even when the murder of Becket had turned aside the main current of interest and devotion in the direction of the shrine in Christ Church Cathedral." [See "Lives of the English Saints."]

[8] The Monastery had the privilege granted to it, A.D. 1103 (one highly esteemed at that period), of holding a fair for five days yearly. This fair continued to be held until the time of Edward I.

There was also attached to the Monastery a high Court, where pleas were heard and actions of debt determined between the vassals of the Monastery. A gaol also existed in Longport, near the Precincts of the Abbey. The jurisdiction of the Society extended over the whole of ten parishes, over a part of a hundred more, and into districts of Canterbury itself. Among others it had the privilege called infangenthef, or the right of judging a thief caught on the premises.

It now follows to speak of the adverse fortunes of this once famous Monastery.

The first disaster which befell it was the loss of its original privilege as the burying place of the Archbishops of Canterbury and Kings of England. The Kings were not buried there after the Archbishopric of Brithwald, towards the close of the seventh century, and, about half a century later, Archbishop Cuthbert obtained leave to bury within churches, and was himself the first Archbishop whose body rested within the Cathedral (A.D. 758); he was buried before the monks of St. Augustine's had received notice of his death and could claim their prize. His successor Bredgwin was also buried in the Cathedral before the Abbot of St. Augustine's could claim his body, as was his right. But the monks of Christ Church, anxious to [8/9] settle the dispute, elected as Archbishop, Jambert, who was Abbot of St. Augustine's. He was buried however, by his own express desire, at St. Augustine's, and was the last Archbishop buried there.

The Monastery was often exposed to the fury of the Danes. Accounts differ as to the extent of injury done in 1011, under King Ethelred, when Canterbury was almost destroyed, and Archbishop Elphage was murdered; but the Monastery was not injured by the invaders to any great extent. In 1168 the Abbey was much damaged by fire, the ancient writings and charters destroyed, the Church itself almost ruined and the shrines impaired. In 1271 the Abbey suffered from the violence of another element, though far less apparently than the neighbouring city--a great storm. The rain came down for several days in torrents, so that the whole of the city and the country around were well nigh devastated; the waters stood high in the court of the Monastery and in the Church. On the 21st of May, 1382, at mid-day, an earthquake occured throughout England, on which occasion, according to Thorn, it shattered the eastern window of the Chapter House and the western casement of the Church, and damaged other buildings within the Monastery.

In the reign of Edward I., St. Augustine's, in common with other religious houses, was materially affected by the statute of Mortmain; from that time benefices were annexed to the Monasteries as a compensation for the loss of other incomes.

[10] Yet as far as the internal strictness of Monastic institutions is concerned, they degenerated from their simplicity of life as they came to enjoy greater possessions. One cannot but feel, as to their practice of giving sumptuous entertainments to great men of the times, that St. Augustine and his monks would have been somewhat startled by the bills of fare of later Abbots, who appear to have seen in them only a compliance with St. Paul's injunction to hospitality. Several of these documents will be found in Somner's "Antiquities of Canterbury," one after the Benediction of Abbot Bourne, will serve as an example:--11 tuns of wine, £24; 30 oxen, £27; 34 swans, £7; 500 capons, £6; 1000 geese, £16; 200 sucking pigs, 100s.; 9600 eggs, £4 10s.; 17 rolls of brawn, 65s.; the cost of the coals for dressing the same, 48s.; the pay of the cooks and their servants, £6; the total expense £287 5s., for this
sum 3000 dishes were set before 6000 guests.

This indicates, no doubt, a conception of hospitality which none can deny to be magnificent, but which belongs rather to the world than the life of the cloister. No common man must he have been who after one of these sumptuous banquets could settle down at once to his pallet of straw, or his simple meal of fish and eggs, or who, while the prospect of such excitement was imminent, or its memory fresh, could pursue his meditations with the requisite freedom from disturbance.

It is pleasant however to turn from these occasional and, as we may suppose, rare infringements of the simplicity of Monastic life to the description of its ordinary [10/11] routine as practised in England according to the Benedictine rule. Thus we read:--Every monk had his own cell to himself, a place of repose where he might sleep undisturbed, or give himself freely to prayer or meditation without any molestation from the rest of the brethren. He had a mat or mattress and a hard pillow to lie down upon, and a blanket or rug to keep him warm. The Benedictine had the tonsure, a large circle of hair clipped off the top of the head, and was closely shorn. His habit was a neckcloth, a long black tunic (furred in winter), an upper frock with large sleeves and a cowl with pointed ends split in front; in winter a pelisse. A glance at his feet would have shown the round-toed boot of the monk, as distinguished from the canon's shoe or the sandal of the friars; his underclothing included a lindsey-woolsey shirt, with a linen girdle or belt, hose of white cloth, breeches tied with laces, and leggings. Each had his own little property in a pouch, a knife, comb, bodkin, writing tablets for noting offences, needles, thread and other necessaries. He slept in his clothes, girt with a girdle, and was thereby always ready to attend the night devotions at the canonical hours. Shortly after midnight the little bell rung by the churchwardens awoke the quiet of the dormitory, and matins was said before the morning, in praise of Him who giveth songs in the night. Until Prime at 6 a.m., the monks returned to the dormitory. After an interval of repose, on a signal from a small bell, they went to the lavatory, having put on their day habit. Tierce was said at 9 a.m., followed by matins mass, after which a breakfast was served of bread [11/12] and wine. In the interval a Chapter was held before the whole community in the Chapter House. Hither it may be a monk was carried in on his blue bed, with a chalice on his heart, before service, from the Infirmary Chapel, and then borne out to his long home in the adjoining cemetery; or a novice might be admitted to the cowl, an officer appointed, a delinquent punished. After Chapter, at 11 a.m., a bell rang for the brethren to repair to the lavatory, to wash before dinner. On leaving the refectory they went into the Choir to say sext. After which they repaired to the cemetery, and stood bareheaded and praying among the graves, in which lay the dead, never sundered from their love and recollection. Then study in the cloisters until Nones at 3 p.m.; study again up to supper time, 5 p.m. After Vespers they again repaired to the Chapter House for prayers and devotions until the Salvi at 6 p.m. A walk before Compline was allowed in summer time in the gardens, or a game of bowls was played on the green. Then all the doors were locked in the Cloisters till 7 a.m. The Abbot took charge of the keys and the community retired to the dormitory, where they put on a change of robes; the busy day well spent was over. [See Wallcott's "English Minsters."]

In spite of great revenues, there were periods when the House fell into much pecuniary distress. Take for instance the following; Henry Berry writing to his friend John Paston, informs him, January 24th, 1464, how Sevenoke the Abbot dying, left them in debt and great distress, the oldest brother in the place never heard of, or [12/13] saw them in such distress; they had hardly bread to eat. There is another account, much earlier than this, in the reign of Edward I., when one of the monks, writing to the Sacrist, says, that for three weeks they had not a grain of barley to support their household, nor could they make malt, nor sow their lands, for none of their neighbours would let them have corn, and, what was still more and more disgraceful to their profession, they were forced to procure drink in alehouses.

A series of bad harvests might have affected the rental of the Monastery, but there were other causes that often impoverished the Abbeys, and even Episcopal Sees. Such were the exactions of the Court of Rome, and the large sums which often had to be spent after election, in order to obtain the consent of the Pope to the consecration. Large sums of money were borrowed from the Monastery by Kings Edward III. and Richard II.

We have also records of costly and sumptuous entertainments given to royal and noble guests. Edward I. in 1279, and again on his return from Gascony in 1289, claimed the hospitality of the monks. The King invited Archbishop Peckham to dine with him. The Monks however declined to receive the prelate if he entered their presence with his cross erect. Such trifles were once sources of contention between them and the Monks of
Christ Church.

In 1295 the judges, 40 Knights and 4500 lesser personages were the Abbot's guests.

[14] In 1392 came Richard II. and his Queen; in 1400, the Abbot entertained Manuel, Emperor of the East. In 1446, Cardinal Beaufort and Queen Margaret were received at St. Augustine's, and in 1536, Henry VIII. and Lady Jane Seymour held court there; his coming must have been watched with wondering eyes by the brethren. Already the Bill had passed the Commons, which ordered the suppression of Monasteries possessing less than £200 a year, and it was plain that the blow was about to fall. At length, on the 30th of July, 1538, the fate of the Abbey was sealed, when the last of the Abbots, John Essex, with thirty of his Monks signed a deed of surrender to the King, and the Abbey with its site and precincts, its chattels and goods, manor houses, lands, advowsons and churches and all other possessions whatsoever, and wheresoever situated, passed into the hands of the King, to the use of him and his heirs for ever.

The revenues of the Abbey were valued, according to Dugdale, at £1412 4s. 7d. and it possessed upwards of 11,800 acres of land. At the dissolution, the principal buildings, as the Great Church, the Refectory, etc., were stripped of their leaden roofs, and the materials easily converted to other uses were removed. Enough however was left to induce the King to convert the place into a royal palace, the principal front of which appears to have been turned to the south, overlooking the present Fellows' Garden. The checker work of flint and Caen stone is supposed to have formed part of the palace.

[15] In the second and third years of Queen Mary the site of the Abbey was granted to Cardinal Pole for his life. In her sixth year Elizabeth granted it to Henry Lord Cobham, during whose possession of it the Queen kept her Court here in 1573, while on one of her royal progresses.

On the attainder of Lord Cobham in 1603, it was granted by Letters Patent (3. James I.) to Robert Cecil, Lord Essenden, afterwards Earl of Salisbury. Here Charles I, celebrated his marriage with the Princess Henrietta in 1625, and in 1660 Charles II. with his two brothers, the Dukes of York and Gloucester, remained here three nights, when on his road to London at the Restoration.

Upon the death of Lord Salisbury it passed to Edward, Lord Wootton of Marley, who bequeathed it to his wife Mary. During the Rebellion her house was plundered and her furniture destroyed. Until lately the buildings retained the name of Lady Wootton's Palace, and the open space before the gateway is still known as Lady Wootton's Green. Upon the death of Lady Wootton in 1658, the property passed into the possession of the family of Sir Edward Hales, and ultimately to his descendant Sir Edward Hales, of St. Stephen's Canterbury. None of these owners acted as a conservator of the buildings. One proprietor pulled down the hall to furnish materials for a public house, near the present Guildhall. The very foundations of the building, even the stone coffins of the religious and others in the cemetery, were carried away by another proprietor to be used in the erection of his mansion at Hales' Place.

[16] It had now reached its lowest point of degradation; the great gate had become the entrance to a brewery; the gate chamber, the state bed-chamber of the Monastery, was used as the receptacle of the cooling vat; the guest-hall was a dancing room, where many a main of cocks had been fought at the early part of this century, the kitchen a public house, the grounds were used for dancing and fireworks, and were known as the Old Palace Tea Gardens. (See the reprint, in Appendix, of an old bill.)

"The ruins and ground plot of the Abbey were, in 1844, purchased by A. J. B. Hope Esq., M.P., and in conjunction with the Rev. Edward Coleridge, the work of Restoration soon commenced." [See "Rise, Ruin and Restoration of St. Augustine's."] New buildings arose, a new life seemed to come out of the old shadows that lay so long over and around the ruins. It was identical with the ancient house, but such were the pains taken to preserve as much as possible of the old work that seemed worth preserving, that it appeared in parts a perfect restoration.

The work of restoration and construction of the new buildings was intrusted by Mr. Hope to Mr. Butterfield, the eminent architect, and all possible care and pains were taken.

The architectural style which prevails is the geometrical or decorative, but the west end of the chapel is early English. The Norman style is now only to be seen in what remains of the north aisle of the Abbey Church.

A VIEW IN 1703.

[17] A Guide


St. Augustine's Missionary College.

IN making the tour of the college to compare the old with the new, and gain some idea
of what the Monastery was like, we take our start from the Great Gate. What must been the thoughts of the Canterbury Pilgrims as they stopped to gaze at Abbot Fyndon's noble work? They might easily have mistaken the vast pile of buildings for some royal or imperial residence. It had a frontage of 250 feet, extending from the Cemetery gate, which was [17/18] built by Thomas Ickham, the Sacristan, in the latter part of the 14th century, to the house now occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Castleden (a household name in the homes of many an Augustinian in the distant colonies). There are still some remains of the piers of the Almonry gate. The Almonry was served by a society of brethren and sisters. Somner says in his time the "Chapel was desolate and rotting in its own ruins." Besides serving as a place of dole to the poor and aged, there was usually a school held within it. The cottages still bear the name of Ambry, a corruption of the word Almonry. The red brick arch, recently restored, was late Tudor work.

The grand gate of the Monastery faces a small square known since the reign of Charles I. as Lady Wootton's Green. "The gate is flanked by two octagonal towers which rise like minarets above the main building. A pointed arch springs from tower to tower, and within it is a second arch which frames in the massive door of panelled oak. One might fancy that the two arches symbolize the ideal and the actual of the conventual life of the middle ages, the one soaring heavenward, the other drawn earthward. The traceried windows of the gate chamber are bays in an arcade of singular beauty. The canopied niches span the entire building, encompassing the towers on either side. Above is a band of trefoiled triangles, and over that a decorated battlement; while over all the two turrets pannelled, pierced and battlemented complete a façade which resembles an exquisite piece of lace-work translated into stone. This noble gateway is [18/19] harmonious in all its details. It is fortunate indeed that so perfect a work was spared by the spoilers of the once magnificent Abbey." [See "Rambles Round Old Canterbury."]

It had, however, some years previously to Mr. Hope purchasing it, been partially repaired through the efforts of a few public spirited individuals and some of the leading members of the Canterbury Literary Institution. "Pull it down and sell the materials," was the cry. Happily however for the honour of the City, this act of spoliation was averted.

The turrets were again restored in 1890-91. The gateway was erected by Abbot Fyndon, who, in the year 1300, obtained a charter for the enlargment of the great court of the Monastery. During 1309, the last year of his Abbacy, he obtained from the King, Edward II., leave to embattle the gate of his Abbey.

We now enter the gate with its finely vaulted archway, above which is the gate-chamber, formerly used as the state bed-chamber of the Monastery. It contains five windows, two westward, one eastward and two northward, the fire-place being on the South side. It had a curiously painted ceiling, which, after the conversion into a brewery, was miserably defaced by the steam.

It is a singular coincidence that from the eastern and western windows appear in a direct line the terminating circular chapel of the cathedral, the largest and most perfect watch-tower still gracing the walls of the city, [19/20] (whereon are three heraldic shields on which are carved the arms of England with those of the city and cathedral), and the Church of St. Martin. Since the Dissolution it has been used as a bedchamber by Queen Elisabeth, Charles I. (on his marriage with Princess Henrietta), and Charles II. (when on his road to London at the Restoration).

Before going farther on our tour, we may contemplate for a few moments what must have been the aspect of the Monastery at the completion of the gateway, as we gather from old prints and accounts of it, and at ruin here and there. First discarding from our minds the cloisters and terraces as they now appear, we shall see before us the great court of the Monastery, the Abbot's great Hall with its noble entrance to the north-east, a glimpse of a part of the kitchen, dormitories, infirmary and infirmary chapel; also to the right of the great hall, the Abbot's private apartments and private chapel, the cellarer's apartments, the north wall of the nave of the Abbey Church, with the beautiful tower dedicated to St. Ethelbert, 125 feet in height, with rows of twisted columns reaching from the ground to the top: behind us, the Great Gate, the Guesten Hall and Chapel, with the Abbot's private Lodging and the Cemetery gate in the distance, and to our left, the Almonry, the Chapel, and Lodging for the poor.

What was it like when Mr. Hope bought it, and as the writer remembers it? The Gateway had been turned into a brewery, the State Bed-Chamber was the receptacle of the cooling vat, the Guesten Hall a dancing room, the Kitchen a public house; the Great Hall gone, and on its [20/21] site a number of grotto-like recesses, called the Cloisters; the Great Kitchen, Infirmary and Chapel gone, the Dormitories in ruins; the Great Tower down, the North Wall of the Abbey Church turned into a fives-court; close to it the bowling green; before us are a number of tables and forms, used in fine weather to sit at for drinking purposes, and on our left portions of a stone wall, erected in Tudor times, (there was some of the old chequered work like that in the Fellows' Garden) a broken fence; the Almonry, and its Chapel down, and a house built on its site.

We pass on to


an entirely new range of buildings, which contain the separate rooms of the students, with a corridor above, which is said to be a facsimile of a corridor in Luther's Monastery at Erfort; it is about 260 feet in length, and has rooms on either side for the students. We see on the walls of the Cloisters the names of over 450 students who have passed through the College, with the Diocese for which they left, and their year of sailing; also those who have become Bishops, Deans, Archdeacons and Canons.

We pass next to


This is a most interesting crypt, and contains some of the old work, being built on the foundations of the Great Hall. The wall on the east side, as high as the tops of the windows, a door, now blocked up, and here and there [21/22] a column, are part of a building supposed to have been erected about 1250 to 1270. The crypt is an exact reproduction of the old one, as on clearing the ruins there were found, on the east side, remains of the groining of the roof, and parts of the columns, which gave the architect an idea of the style of the old building; the columns in the centre now rest on the original concrete bases.

From the opening of the College, in 1848, down to the spring of 1883, the crypt had been used for the students' workshops, where they were taught various handicrafts, carpentry chiefly. They now have new workshops built, where they are still taught the several trades.

On St. Peter's Day, 1884, the crypt was opened as the Coleridge Memorial Museum. There we shall find specimens of things from all parts of the world, sent home by the old students from their mission homes. As we walk round we shall see specimens, in cases, from Borneo, Burmah, China; now a table containing fragments from the old Abbey, and close by a case containing documents relating to missionary work; it contains, beside others, a note book of Bishop Patteson, and some original letters from Bishop Selwyn and others; also a chalice and paten from Rorke's Drift. A case contains relics of Bishop Mackenzie, the first Missionary Bishop to Central Africa, who died of fever on the Shire river. At the end of the room is a good portrait, by Richmond, of the late Rev. Edward Coleridge; on the east side we see some work of the North American Indians and the natives of British Guiana, and, close by, a beautiful specimen of a feathered cloak from the Sandwich Isles.

[23] There is a collection from New Zealand, with some good specimens of native carving done with sharp stones; some good beadwork from Africa, and on the wall some beautiful horns, shields and war clubs, and two cases of birds, one from Africa, the other from British Guiana; the large case close by contains Indian work.


We pass on to


But, before reaching it, I would call your attention to a most interesting view of pre-Reformation work; it includes the Gateway, the Manciple's Apartment, the Bell Harry Tower of the Cathedral and the College Hall.

Thy Library is a noble hall, measuring 80 feet long, by 45 feet wide, and is lofty in proportion; the tracery of the windows has been copied from the hall of the Archiepiscopal Palace, at Mayfield, in Sussex. It is divided into compartments, and we shall find on the walls some interesting old prints, which will take us back nearly 200 years in the history of the place. The first print on the right shows the gateway with the brewery building, and the old wall and fence, where the cloisters are now built; the one on the left shews the gate from the outside. We next come to a view of the tower of the Abbey Church, as it looked at the early part of this century, a beautiful Norman tower. Its lofty walls were pierced with arcades of intersecting arches, whose many pillars, carved in spirals or diapered, bore capitals chiselled into grotesque devices. Next to it is a view taken the day previous to its demolition, and others showing it in different stages, an old plan of [23/24] the city, its gates and walls entire, and showing the position of St. Augustine's outside the walls. Also some good portraits, one of Bishop Seabury, the first American Bishop; one of the late Edward Coleridge; at the end of the hall a bust of Bishop Broughton, the first Bishop of Sydney; above it Bishop Heber, to the right Bishop Nixon, first Bishop of Tasmania, and the late Archdeacon Harrison; on the left Vernon Harcourt, late Archbishop of York, A. J. Beresford Hope, Esq. and Lady Mildred, Bishop Selwyn, first Bishop of New Zealand, and Mrs. Selwyn, and Bishop Blomfield, late Bishop of London; two curious old prints, showing the different colleges in the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, two panoramic views, one of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, and one of Cairo, and over the door an oil painting of Archbishop Laud.

A VIEW IN 1810.

Before entering


we pass over the site of the Abbot's private apartments and the Cellarer's, which reached from the Great Hall to the church. The entrance we pass through is a modern one; there were originally two, the old one on our left, close to the remains of the old Cloisters, probably built after the flood in 1271. The style of architecture came in about 1240. At the back of the Cloisters was the refectory of the Monks, and beyond that the great kitchen, a hexagonal building, probably vaulted, with columns at each side. A base of one, uncovered a short time since, shows that the kitchen was erected in a style in keeping with the grandeur of the surrounding buildings. Under the kitchen [24/25] ran the water course, the conduit being supplied, like that of Christ Church, from the springs which rise on the hills beyond. The ruins around the cottage are the remains of the Dormitories; the Infirmary and Infirmary Chapel were more to the north-east. The Chapter House was in the field beyond, just over the wall and in a direct line with the green path. In the distance we see the ruined arch of St. Pancras. On our right are the remains of the Abbey Church, it extended nearly 100 feet beyond the wall. In Dugdale's Monasticon there is a plan of the high altar, also the different shrines, showing the apse and the three circular Chapels; the centre one marks the burial place of Augustine, the one on the right that of King Ethelbert, Queen Bertha and her Confessor Luidhard; the one on the left the six Saxon Archbishops succeeding Augustine. On the western side of the Cloister garden we have some remains of the old Saxon work, part of the inner wall of the Monastery, it shows some of the herring-bone work, as it is called, from the way the stones are placed. It may have been built in St. Augustine's time, a relic of the old Saxon Monastery. We also see the remains of a door, the entrance to the Cellarer's apartments, and, close by, the remains of a grill and a blocked up doorway, which mark the site of the entrance to the Cloisters from the Abbot's Chapel; the bases of the columns still remain, which show it to have been a most beautiful doorway, with five clustered columns on each side. Above it was formerly a large and handsome window in the same style; only a fragment now remains, as the arch and tracery suddenly fell down some [25/26] half century ago. The window is shown in the old prints and drawings. The north wall still shows some remains of the sedilia for the Monks.

We will now pass on to the remains of


The door on our left is the back of the one we were looking at in the Cloisters garden. This side, some few years since, was uncovered down to the stone sill, and the irons were still there in the stone work that the hinges hung on. The wall now before us is the north wall of the Church, and it is this part that was used as the fives-court. It still contains two of the Norman clerestory windows. Here we see all that remains of the beautiful Ethelbert Tower. We can judge how massive its walls must have been, for they were from eight to ten feet in thickness; it was sixteen feet square on the inside. The columns that remain in the angles have plain Norman capitals; there was a vaulted arch about 28 feet from the ground. Gostling says "it had a newel staircase to the top of the Tower. On viewing carefully the east side of Ethelbert's Tower two grooves or chasings are to be seen, one 30 the other 40 feet from the ground, cut in the stone work to receive the skirts or flashings of the lead when the roof was covered. The first determines very exactly the height and breadth of the north side aisle. The angle of the other chasing shows exactly what was the pitch of the main roof, and from these circumstances we may nearly determine both the breadth and height of the old building."


[27] "On the morning of the 10th of October, 1822, the north-west corner of the Tower, comprising about one half of what remained of that venerable edifice, and amounting in weight to many hundred tons, and nearly seventy feet in height, fell with a dreadful crash, cracking, by the shock, the remaining part, the whole altitude of which was about 100 feet, and presenting a grand, but terrifically dangerous appearance. On the Thursday before the accident, which was occasioned by a high wind, an attempt had been made to force down that which was left standing, by inserting large timber through various fissures, but of no avail. A plan of a more formidable kind of battering ram was then adopted, which likewise in the onset proved of no avail, but upon its removal, and being directed in another position, that justly admired and very ancients structure yielded its majestic head to the force of the machine in the afternoon of Thursday, the 24th of October. The descent was awfully grand, and to the lovers of antiquity grievous. Thus fell an edifice consecrated by ages and rendered sacred by its association with some of the most important and interesting events in our local and national history." [See "Ireland's History of Kent."]

"A vaulted archway led from the Tower into a Galilee Porch. In 1703, at about 60 feet from the Tower, stood a mass of ruins, the remains of the south-west Tower which contained the bells. One may believe this was the west front, possibly with a handsome porch, of which nothing then was to be seen. The Church was in the form of a [27/28] Latin cross, with Nave, Choir, Transepts and Apse, and three circular Chapels. It was 320 feet in length and 74 feet wide. The north and south aisles were 19 feet wide, the Nave 36 feet, length of Nave 175 feet. The foundations of the south wall are within 24 feet of the Hospital.

The north-west entrance to the Church is probably a work of the 15th century, and a remarkable piece of masonry it is. The ashlar blocks of Caen stone, with which the coarse material of the Tower is arched and faced, are almost perfect in surface and joint after several hundred years' exposure. The wall of the north side of the Norman Church still stands and bears above it a high course of brickwork of the Tudor period, when the ruined wall of the abbey was utilised for the New Palace buildings, erected after the dissolution of the Monastery. The aisle wall is the work of the two first Norman Abbots and was completed about 1090. It was vaulted, and in the six bays which remain, the responds show a cluster of three long shafts with cushion capitals. ["Rambles Round Old Canterbury."] In the second bay from St. Ethelbert's Tower, is a doorway under a segmental arch, with a round-head, comprising arch above it, the spandril or intervening space being filled with an indented ornament. The third bay has an angle-headed doorway with moulded jambs. In the second storey there is a single round-headed window with jamb shafts and capitals in each bay, which lighted the Triforium of the Nave. Above these was a clerestory, with smaller windows of the same character. Two windows remain visible in the third and fourth [28/29] bays on the outside wall. It is remarkable how admirably the stone of the columns has been preserved. At the extremity of the Nave aisle there is a fragment of an aisle arch, the commencement of the Choir of the Church, there were three bays beyond the present one; and then the Transepts and the Presbytery, with the Apse and circular Chapels, completed the Church.



Some excavations made by the students a few years ago, on the site of the north aisle, have exposed the bases of some of the columns down to the level of the floor of the Church and the medieval tile flooring. When first uncovered the tiles were in a good State of preservation, the patterns distinct and the colours bright. The prevailing designs were the fleur-de-lis, the rose, and an elaborate circular pattern, requiring four tiles to complete it.

We have now passed through the ruins. It is easy to see that the hand of time has been less ruthless than that of man. It was the spirit of barbarism which desecrated a place sacred in English history, and scattered the memorials of Saints and Kings.

We now pass to the Chapel and Dining Hall. But, before entering the Chapel, I would call your attention to some beautiful flint-work shaped into squares, the surface smooth and flat. They are banded together like brickwork. They were taken from the north-east corner of the Gateway, against which the Cloisters are built, and were probably the work of Abbot Fyndon's skilful workmen. They were placed in this and also in a small buttress at the east end of the Chapel for preservation.


This is a crypt beneath the Guesten Chapel, now in its enlarged form the College Chapel, and is an extended reproduction from the ancient crypt. From the arch eastward is the new portion, the remainder may possibly have been the Mortuary Chapel of the Monastery. It was made a Memorial Chapel by the Rev. Dr. Bailey, the Second Warden, and is interesting, not only from its retaining some of the old work, but for the memorials of the young "Soldiers of the Cross," who have gone out into far lands and amongst strange people, to do battle for the faith, and one after another have laid down their lives in the cause in which they have been engaged.

The same wall which bears the interesting records of departed students, has two sculptured groups in high relief, designed by the late eminent W. Burges, and executed by Michell. One, representing St. Gregory in the marketplace of Rome, speaking with fair young English slaves, has been erected in memory of the Rev. H. J. Hutchinson, by his sister. The other represents St. Augustine preaching to King Ethelbert. It was erected by the students in memory of their deceased companions; and they collected the cost of the group by abstaining from the use of sugar for a considerable time.

"The altar in the Chapel was erected by Mr. Beresford Hope as a memorial to his wife and of the seven first Archbishops, whose remains lie buried in the Abbey, and whose shrines were arranged under the arches of the Apse [30/31] around the High Altar, together with St. Ethelbert, Abbot Adrian, and St. Mildred, who were similarly placed, and Queen Bertha who was never canonised.

The Altar is made of oak, and its framing is inlaid with various designs in coloured wood, with the following words over the four panels below: "Exultabunt sancti in gloria Laetabuntur in cubilibus suis." The panels have in them figures of St. Mildred, St. Ethelbert, St. Augustine and Queen Bertha and were executed by Burkentin from Clayton's cartoons in aluminium repousée, on red and green enamel grounds, diapered with gold and set in niches of yellow bronze. The mensa is of dark fossil Derbyshire marble and the foot-pace of Shap granite. The Super Altar is of dark Derbyshire marble, and on it stands the Altar cross, vases and candlesticks. On each side of this Chapel is a brass in a mounting of dark Derbyshire marble. That on the south wall bears the following inscription--


The inscription on the north wall runs thus--

Aedibus in Sanctis Augustini ut Patriarchae
Ordine septeno requierunt corpora cara
Agmen signiferum Christi primique prophetae
Necnon rex Ethelbertus Mildredaque virgo
Cum sapiente Abbate micans diadema sacelli
Simplicitate pia memores scripsere Levitae
Septem sunt Angli primates et protopatres
Septem rectores septem coeloque triones
Septem cisternae vitae septemque lucernae
Et septem palmae regni septemque coronae
Septem sunt stellae quos haec tenet area cellae
Atrox sed postquam disperserat ossa tyrannus
Suaveolens tantum nomen per saecula pollet.

There is also a brass to the memory of Bishop Coleridge, the first Warden. The new reredos has been erected in memory of the two founders, the Right Hon. A. J. B. Hope and the Rev. Edward Coleridge. Some years ago there was executed for Mr. Beresford Hope, by Nicols the sculptor, a bronze Pastor Bonus, which at one [32/33] time stood on a corbel at the east end of the Chapel but had been removed to the western end afterwards. It now, however, is replaced, but in a recessed and canopied niche of alabaster, and is carefully gilded so as to be conspicuous in the dim light of the Chapel. On either side of the canopy stands an angel in gold coloured bronze, with wings overshadowing it, bearing respectively the palm and crown, the reward of those who in life and in death do their Master's will. Flanking the niches, and surrounded by mouldings of alabaster, are panels of metalwork, in which, in letters of bright bronze, on a ground of aluminium, are the words of the hymn by St. Thomas Aquinas:--

"Bone Pastor, Panis vere,
Jesu nostri miserere,
Tu nos pasce, nos tuere,
Tu nos bona fac videre
In terra vivientium.
Tu, qui cuncta scis et vales,
Qui nos pascis hic mortales,
Tuos ibi commensales,
Cohaeredes, et sodales,
Fac, Sanctorum civium. Amen."

The following is a translation of the words:--

"Very Bread, Good Shepherd tend us,
Jesu of Thy love befriend us,
Thou refresh us, Thou defend us,
Thine eternal goodness send us
In the Land of Life to see.
[34] Thou, who all things canst and knowest,
Who on earth such food bestowest,
Grant us with Thy saints though lowest,
Where the heavenly feast Thou showest,
Fellow heirs and guests to be. Amen."

The several lines of this beautiful hymn are divided by bronze mouldings and borders, while on a panel, extending the whole length of the predella and in the same material, is a Latin inscription:

Hic Agnus mundum restaurat sanguine lapsum.
Mortuus et vivus Idem sum Pastor et Agnus.

The four circular windows of painted glass, represent the six Saxon Archbishops who are buried in the Abbey Church; they are by Clayton and Bell. The two-light window, at the west end of the Chapel, has for its subjects the Virgin and Child and St. Joseph, and was placed there to the memory of Mrs. Maclear; it is by Heaton, Butler and Bayn. [See "College Occasional Papers."]

We will now pass on to the


This is built on the site of the old Guest Chapel, which reached as far as the first step, the Sanctuary being added to accommodate the number of students. A beautiful oak screen separates the Ante-chapel from the Nave. The latter is admirably fitted with carved oak stalls for the Wardens, Fellows and Students. The seats are copies of [34/35] the "miserere," being beautifully carved in floral designs. All the windows of the Chapel contain painted glass, of excellent design and colour, by Willement. The east window, of five lights, contains St. Gregory, St. Augustine, the Baptism of Our Lord, the Adoration and the First Miracle. A south window, of four lights, the four great prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. The north window contains the four evangelists, the mosaic panels admirably harmonising. The floor tiles are copies of original tiles of the 13th or 14th century. The three-light window at the west end of the Chapel, has for its subject scenes from the lives of St. Peter and St. Paul.

We now come to the


This is a fine and spacious room, 60 feet long, by 40 feet wide. After the dissolution of the Monastery, and on being converted to a private residence, a floor was placed across the upper part to be used as bed chambers, but when the College was built, the floor was removed, and the original wood work of the roof exposed again. There remains one of the old king-posts. One of the main supports of the roof is a portion of a tree in its rough state. The windows are copied, as nearly as possible, from fragments of old tracery and mouldings found in the ruins. Much as it is now it must have been when royal and noble guests were magnificently entertained beneath its roof, and it affords an interesting specimen of an English dining hall in the olden time. It is, no doubt, one of the oldest [35/36] dining halls, as such, in England, if not the oldest. If the old walls could but repeat the conversation which took place on some of the historic occasions! But after all, the place is put to better uses than the casual entertainment of Emperors and Kings, as it now forms the Common Hall of the College. The Warden's chair is an elaborate piece of carved oak, probably old Flemish; it was presented to the College by Mr. Beresford Hope. The mosaic on the wall is a copy of one in St. Mark's, Venice; the original is about five times the size of this, and is in an alcove above the Altar: this is the work of Dr. Salviati, and was presented by Dr. Bailey, a former warden. There are some beautiful prints, copies of the old Masters, published by the Arundel Society. There is a curious panel painting over the fire-place, by T. Prichard in 1740, also a gift of Dr. Bailey; it represents St. Augustine's at the early part of the last century, showing the two Gateways, the Hall and the west end of the Chapel, with the Tower standing.

On the walls are some good portraits of the following benefactors and wardens of the College:--A portrait of Mr. [36/37] Beresford Hope, by Sidney Hodges; one of the first Wardens, Bishop Coleridge, who had been Bishop of Barbados for 17 years, and who died in 1849; one of Canon Gilbert, who was a choir boy at Canterbury, and was advanced from the Choristers' School to the King's School, from which he gained a scholarship at Cambridge; he afterwards became vicar of Syston, near Grantham. He founded three scholarships, and bequeathed his plate and books to the College, The portrait of Dr. Bailey, by Sidney Hodges, was the spontaneous gift of the students. Also a portrait by E. W. Eddis, of the late Dr. Lochée, who for 27 years gave his gratuitous and valuable services as lecturer on medicine. Below the Guesten Hall, is the present kitchen of the College; it is a part of the original structure of the Hall, as the oak beams suffice to show. This was the kitchen of that outer circle of the Abbey, in which the Abbot's guests and retainers were entertained.

The kitchen was, in the first part of the present century, the bar of the public house. Between this and the Gate is the Manciple's room, and at the back, on the west side of the gateway; is a room, now used as a store room, which is supposed to have been used as the prison. It had no doorway until one was made when the College was built. If it was really used as a prison in the olden time, the persons must have been lowered into it from the ancient looking chamber above. Light was admitted by a small loophole high up in the thick wall.

We have now made the entire round of the ancient building, and have seen for ourselves the many points of interest, both ancient and modern.

[38] "Thanks to the princely munificence of Mr. Beresford Hope, who has built for himself an enduring monument within this ancient Monastery, this first home of missionaries to the heathen has become a home, a school for English missionaries to the world. Once more peace and order reign within these precincts, and the new spirit which pervades them links us with the memorable times of old, as we think of those who have gone forth year after year from St. Augustine's into all the settlements of Englishmen in the Greater Britain, into Africa, India and the farther East, into the western Canadian wilds, the Australasian Colonies, the West Indies and the distant isles, and knowing that they have proved themselves valiant soldiers of the Cross, we are reminded of the beautiful lines written by Dr. Neale, on the completion of the first solemn service of consecration in the newly founded College." ["Rambles Round Old Canterbury."

I see the white-winged vessels that, bound to realms afar,
Go conquering, and to conquer, upon their holy war;
No loud-voiced cannon bear they, those messengers divine,
Of England's merchant Princes, and England's battle line;
Yet they breast the broad Atlantic, the Polar Zone they brave,
They dash the spray drops from their bows in that Antartic wave,
The fiend that haunts the Lion's Bay, the dagger of Japan,
The thousand wrecks they laugh to scorn, of stormy Magellan,
Where earthly arms were weakness, and earthly gold were dross,
Safe go they, for they carry the unconquerable Cross,
The Cross that, planted here at first, now planted here again,
Shall bloom and flourish in the sight of angels and of men;
Another St. Augustine this holy house shall grace;
Another English Boniface shall run the martyr's race;
[39] Another brave Paulinus for heathen souls shall yearn;
Another Saint Columba rise, another Kentigern,
Awake, and give the blind their sight, teach praises to the dumb.
O Mother Church, arise and shine, for lo! thy light has come.
Till all the faithful through the world, God's one elected host,
Shall welcome the outpouring of a brighter Pentecost,
And there shall be, and thou shalt see, throughout this earthly ball,
One Church, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Lord of all.


(Late of Canterbury Theatre),
Begs most respectfully to inform the inhabitants of Canterbury and its Vicinity that the above Gardens will open under his direction
and will continue open every
during the season upon the principal of
And trusts these entertainments will give that satisfaction and meet with the support it will be his study to deserve. The beauty of the Gardens are (sic) known to all, and their appearance will be highly imposing when
with nearly
will take place in the spacious Orchestra erected in the Gardens for which
of the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, and Drury Lane, and
Late of Royal Gardens, Vauxhall, and several other professional persons are engaged.

A part of the gardens will be appropriated to
And will be opened to the Public without any extra charge and for which
Mr. Stanmore is making arrangements with numerous performers for
And every kind of amusement suitable for Gardens also
Mr. Fenwick the celebrated artist in fireworks, who will have the honor of firing during the season of which due notice will be given.

One Shilling each Person. Children under twelve years of age half-price.
Gardens open at Half-past Seven. Performance to commence at Eight.


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