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Canterbury Churches

 East Kent Churches

Civic Cemeteries

before 1760
after 1760
after 1878
All Saints Churchyard High Street Canterbury now a garden
Three Cities Garden
formerly All Saints churchyard

Formerly on the corner of High Street and Best Lane Canterbury 

Not to be confused with the twentieth century church of  All Saints in Military Road

Civil Registration District: CANTERBURY

Records for this parish date from: 1559
Parish Records - Catalogue Reference No. - CCA-U3-9 1
Monumental Inscription inside the church 1621-1769 2
Monumental Inscription in the graveyard 3

Several All Saints churches have stood on the site on the corner of High Street and Best Lane.  In 1986 an archaeological dig found evidence of the Medieval and Victorian buildings and the street was repaved in coloured bricks to show the footprint of those buildings.5 However, in 2012 the coloured bricks were replaced by plain stones and the position of the church is no longer apparent to passers by.

The church being not far from the River Stour was said to be damp.4  In 1769 the steeple was demolished as it was in the path of the bridge and road widening.4 Canterbury was a coaching stopover on the routes to the coast but the road over Kingsbridge was extremely narrow and had to be widened to allow vehicular access to the inns in the city centre.

In 1828 a new Regency Church of yellow brick with white stucco was constructed and set back from the building line of its predecessors so as not to jut onto either High Street or Best Lane.  In 1878 the style was updated to a Gothic building with a square tower.

Over the centuries All Saints underwent several mergers with adjoining parishes. In 1684 it joined the parish of St Mildred with St Mary de Castro and in 1902 amalgamated with the parish of St Alphege. The final parish merger made All Saints church redundant and it became a community hall until 1937 when it was demolished.

Churchyard - the small garden in Best Lane was once All Saints churchyard. There are some remaining gravestones which may be found edging the garden.

"This Church's Cemetery was acquired and laid to it but of late days, as it were. For in Henry III days and (long after that) in Edward III days too, it was in private hands, as I find by several Deeds of those times, and did anciently belong to Eastbridge Hospital, in part at least." 6

In 2010 the garden was renamed 'Three Cities Garden' to commemorate 25 years of twinning (or should it be tripleting) between Canterbury, Bloomingdale in USA and Vladimir in Russia.

Notable Burial
Alderman Roger Brent
, thrice Mayor of Canterbury
6 (1471, 1472 ,1476)

Canterbury Cathedral Archives
Kent Archeological Society
3 Historic Canterbury
4 Hasted, Edward, The Historical &Topographical Survey of Kent'  Vol.II (1800) p210

5 Canterbury Archaeological Society monograph series Vol VIII
6 Somner, William, The antiquities of Canterbury (1660 - 1977 edition) p167
Church images
from 'Canterbury's Lost Heritage' courtesy of Paul Crampton Books

Tricia Baxter, Secretary & Webmaster

David Wood, Branch Chairman

Page updated22 February 2016