The second annual Canterbury Medieval Pageant on Saturday 8th July is going to be a highlight of this Summer in Canterbury!
In July 2016 over 2,000 people watched Canterbury’s inaugural Medieval Pageant Parade and over 1,000 people took part in the Family Trail across the city, which included activities at 14 heritage locations around the city throughout the day and into the evening.
Watch the video of the 2016 Medieval Pageant Parade
All about the event
Commemorating Henry ll’s pilgrimage to Canterbury and astonishing public apology in 1174 this colourful parade features historical characters, local schools and community and re-enactment groups, giants, music and medieval mayhem. From near the Westgate Towers at 11am to the Marlowe Theatre at around 12:30 this is a must see event.
Come in costume and join the Parade yourself!
If you want to hire a costumes, The Dressing Room in The Borough has a great selection but get in quickly! There is a 15% discount on costumes for 8th July – quote MyCanterbury.
But that’s not all: between noon and 5pm, various locations in the city are part of the Medieval Family Trail. Designed around children and their parents, the Westgate Towers, the Beaney, the Canterbury Tales, Conquest House, Whitefriars, and others will host an exciting range of activities.
Collect your Family Trail Leaflet from The Beaney and many other locations around Canterbury. When you visit any of the places featured in the Family Trail on Saturday 8th July, have the leaflet ‘stamped’. Collect at least 5 stamps and receive a FREE giant chocolate coin at the Cathedral Shop on Burgate.
The Family Trail is for children of all ages … even “Middle Ages”!
Allow a whole afternoon to complete the Trail. If you have less time, visit the venues of your choice and don’t forget to collect your stamps!
80 London Road, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 8LS | 12pm to 5pm
Visit this church named after an archbishop-saint, where King Henry II stopped on his way to the cathedral in July 1174. Discover the head of a saint and hear the oldest medieval church bell in England.
St Peter’s St, Canterbury CT1 2BQ | 10am – 2pm
Come to the stunning Westgate Parks for Archery (10am-2pm, £2.50 per person, no need to book); A ‘Wild Food’ stand (10am-2pm); and a Wild Food Guided Walk (11:30-1, £5.25 per person, book via Canterbury Ticket Shop).
1 Pound Ln, Canterbury CT1 | 11am to 4pm
Climb to the battlements of the historic 600 year old Westgate Towers, England’s largest surviving medieval gateway, and carry out some brass rubbing! (small charge).
St Peter’s St, Canterbury CT1 2BQ | 11:15am to 4pm
Come to St Peter’s Anglican Church where you can explore this medieval church and enjoy some singing and the church bells! Costumed characters will greet you and invite you to join in medieval-inspired crafts and enjoy some refreshments. The Canterbury Gregorian Music Society will also be singing.
25 High St, Canterbury CT1 2BD | 12pm to 4pm
Visit the historic Eastbridge Hospital which provided lodgings for pilgrims in the Middle Ages, and carry out some medieval-inspired crafts.
25 High St, Canterbury CT1 2BD | 12pm to 5pm
Come to the beautiful and tranquil Franciscan Garens (off Stour Street, near Chromos and the Heritage Museum) and ﬁnd out what life was like in medieval times, including demonstrations, conversations with re-enactors and family friendly craft activities. Run by the Centre for Kent History and Heritage at Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury Archaeological Trust and Milites de Bec (historical reenactors).
18 High St, Canterbury CT1 2BD | 12pm to 4pm
The building takes its name from its benefactor, Dr James George Beaney, a Canterbury-born man of modest background who, upon his death in 1891, left money in his will to the city of Canterbury to build an ‘Institute for Working Men’ with amenities for men from poor backgrounds such as his own. His patronage was fundamental in building the Beaney Institute: a new home for the Canterbury Royal Museum and Free Library, now known as The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge.
Meet William the Thatcher as he helps you explore the Beaney. Come and see our pilgrims’ badges and baron statues and take part in medieval activities including creating your own pilgrim badge-inspired mono print with print maker, Fae Kilburn. Plus a family art activity run by arts ambassadors from Simon Langton Girls Grammar School.
53 Palace St, Canterbury CT1 2DY | 12pm to 4pm
Explore medieval style jewellery making, following Canterbury’s heritage in fine craftwork spanning over a thousand years. Come and take advantage of having personal hands-on experience in the workshop where you can also catch a glimpse of Ortwin demonstrating medieval jewellery making techniques at the bench.
17 Palace St, Canterbury CT1 2DY | 12pm to 5pm
This medieval venue, Conquest House, is one of the oldest buildings in Canterbury. Famous for its 1066 Undercroft and historical association with St Thomas Beckett and the four knights, it also features a 17th century royal mural and carvings.
A family day of quill writing, medieval singing & dancing, a small craft fair and ’This Turbulent Priest’ in the afternoon at Conquest House. Plus an evening performance about Thomas Becket and King Henry II.
St Margaret’s St, Canterbury CT1 2TG | 12pm to 5pm
A day of family fun in the Medieval Story Garden at The Canterbury Tales on St Margaret’s Street. Experience the past through games, knights school, dancing, storytelling and crafts (small charge for the crafts).
2 Church Ln, Canterbury CT1 | 12pm to 5pm
St Mildred’s Church is an Anglo-Saxon stone church dating from the 11th century. The church belonged to St Augustine’s Abbey until the abbey was abolished during the dissolution of the monasteries in 1538, and since then it has belonged to the Crown.
Come to St Mildred’s Church and see Roman stonework, a 14th century beamed roof and a medieval font, meet some costumed characters, join in medieval-style crafts and enjoy some tea and cake!
59 Burgate, Canterbury CT1 2HJ | 12:30pm to 5pm
St. Thomas’, the main Catholic church in Canterbury, is located near Christ Church cathedral in a busy part the city.
So come along and explore St Thomas’s Roman Catholic Church, named after Thomas Becket. See a relic of Becket and a painting showing the saints of Canterbury, and make a mitre to take home.
Other activities are taking place around the city throughout the day and into the evening. Here are some we know about so far:
Medieval-themed tours by the expert and entertaining Canterbury Tourist Guides (in costume!). Pre-book at canterburyguidedtours.com, The Roman Museum or at the Visitor Centre at The Beaney (charge applies).
In the evening, make Canterbury a “knight out to remember”. Canterbury Brewers are planning a new brew called ‘Henry’s Penance’, especiall for the Medieval Pageant. Stay tuned for more evening activities.
Espression Arts will be open From 12 noon – 5 pm welcoming families to the shop to create Knights and Princess puppets!! Work with our artists to create your character, paint, stick, dress and present your puppets – £5 per child to take part, soft drinks, teas, coffees and cakes on sale for everyone.
If its sunny families can enjoy their city walled garden!
See more photos from 2016 here.