Canterbury Bid

Canterbury Medieval Pageant

The third annual Canterbury Medieval Pageant on Saturday 7th July is going to be a highlight of this Summer in Canterbury!

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.

Click here to download your free Trail Leaflet  (you will need to print on A3 paper, double sided).

OR pick up your printed leaflet from any of the venues listed below from Friday 29 June:

Fitzgerald Jewellers

The China Man

The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge



11am – 12.30pm (approx)

The Pageant will leave from Tower House in the Westgate Gardens at 11am and end at the Marlowe Theatre at around 12:30. It will stop at various points along the way for theatrical performances. Enjoy specially commissioned music for the event as well as medieval music, local theatre companies and re-enactment groups, banners, flags, costumes and pageantry:

11am: Westgate Parks by Tower House, Scene 1

Opening fanfare and a welcome speech from Henry II and his Queen, Eleanor.

Pageant moves through the park, under the Westgate Tower and up the High Street to Rose Square.

approx 11:30am: Rose Square, Scene 2

Novice monks, Henry II and Milites de Bec  accompanied by a fanfare written by a local music student.

Pageant moves through Whitefriars, along Canterbury Lane, down Burgate to the Buttermarket.

approx 12 noon: Buttermarket, Scene 3

Henry and Eleanor make an attempt at reconciliation.

Pageant moves down Sun Street, Orange Street and enters The Marlowe Theatre Forecourt.

approx 12.30pm: Marlowe Theatre Forecourt, Scene 4

Fanfares and music signal for the Novice monks to take Henry away for his punishment!


11.30am and 5pm

17 different locations across the city are part of the Medieval Family Trail. Follow the trail and discover your talent for medieval archery, jewellery making, arts and crafts and much more.

The Family Trail Leaflet will be available to collect from The Beaney and many other locations around Canterbury or download two weeks prior to the event.

When you visit any of the places featured in the Family Trail on Saturday 7th 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!


St Martins’ Church, North Holmes Road, Canterbury, CT1 1PW   |   11.30am to 5pm

St Martin’s Church was the first church founded in England, the oldest parish church in continuous use and the oldest church in the entire English-speaking world. Find out about this ancient church and enjoy some craft activities.


St Augustine’s Abbey, Longport, Canterbury CT1 1PF   |   11.30am to 5pm

St Augustine’s Abbey- Explore the ruins of this great abbey, a cornerstone of Canterbury’s World Heritage Site and discover its incredible story. With medieval storytelling and free mead tasting! Admission charges apply


St Thomas’ Church, 59 Burgate, Canterbury CT1 2HJ   |   Please note 12:30pm to 5pm only

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 bishop’s mitre to take home.


Ortwin Thyssen Jewellery Maker, 53 Palace St, Canterbury CT1 2DY  |  11.30pm to 5pm

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.

Conquest House, 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. Enjoy a family day of quill writing, medieval singing & dancing.


30th Anniversary of Canterbury Tales, Courtyard, St Margaret’s St, CT1 2TG   |   11.30am to 5pm

This year marks 30 years since The Canterbury Tales immersive visitor attraction first opened its doors on St. Margaret’s Street. As the centrepiece to a year of celebrations, the attraction will host a day of fun in and around its Medieval Story Garden (just behind the entrance to the Canterbury Tales). Expect family activities, live music and maypole dancing along with their specially commissioned outdoor performance, Feast of Fools.


St Mildred’s Church, 2 Church Ln, Canterbury CT1   |   11.30am to 5pm

Come to St Mildred’s Church and see Roman stonework, a 14th century beamed roof and a medieval font and make a medieval tile.



The Marlowe Kit, Stour Street, Canterbury CT1 2NZ   |  Please note: 12pm to 4pm only

Come and make some stained glass at Canterbury’s latest performance space. The Marlowe Kit is situated in The Poor Priests’ Hospital, formerly Canterbury Heritage Museum.



Franciscan Gardens, 25 Stour Street, Canterbury CT1 2BD  |  11.30am to 5pm

Come to the beautiful and tranquil Franciscan Gardens (off Stour Street, near the Marlowe Kit) to 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).

The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge 18 High St, Canterbury CT1 2BD |  11.30pm to 5pm (activities 12-3pm only)

Visit the city’s museum, housed in a grade II listed building, make a pilgrim’s badge and decorate a medieval shield. Activities available 12-3pm, stamp available all day.


Eastbridge Hostpital, 25 High St, Canterbury CT1 2BD  |  11.30am to 5pm

Visit the historic Eastbridge Hospital which provided lodgings for pilgrims in the Middle Ages, meet some pilgrims and make a pilgrim’s bell.



St Peter’s Anglican Church, St Peter’s St, Canterbury CT1 2BQ  |  11:30am to 5pm

Come to St Peter’s Anglican Church where you can explore this medieval church. Costumed characters will greet you and invite you to join in medieval-inspired crafts and enjoy some refreshments.


Rough Musicke, The Friars, Canterbury CT1 2AS | Please note 1pm to 5pm only

Enjoy real medieval tunes on reproduction medieval instruments and meet a medieval blacksmith, scribe, cook, printer and wheat weaver, all authentic apart from the smells! Once seen never forgotten! So come along to the Marlowe Theatre, near the river!


Kent Museum of Freemasonry, 66 St Peter’s Place, Canterbury   |   11.30am to 5pm

Design your own banners and aprons and find out more about the history of Freemasonry in the UK.



Westgate Parks, St Peter’s St, Canterbury CT1 2BQ  |  11.30am – 5pm

Find out about herbs and their uses.



Westgate Towers and The Pound, 1 Pound Ln, Canterbury CT1  |  11.30am to 5pm 

Climb to the battlements of the 600 year old Westgate Towers and carry out some brass rubbing! (Entry charge: FREE for children from 0-17, £1 for adults). For those with buggies or in a wheelchair, the stamp is still available on the ground floor.


St Dunstan’s Church, 80 London Road, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 8LS   |   11.30pm to 5pm

Make a jewelled box at the church 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.

More Medieval Mayhem (only offered on 7 July, in store!)


Other activities are taking place around the city throughout the day and into the evening. Here are some we know about so far:

Antoine and Lili – 46 Burgate, Canterbury, CT1 2HW

Antoine and Lili‘s Canterbury branch will be offering a special discount of 11.74% for the day.

Canterbury Punting

If you visit Canterbury Punting on the 7 July you will see 2 medieval musicians on one of their punts, and a punter dressed as a Medieval Archer!

Canterbury Guides, City Tours

Medieval-themed tours by the expert and entertaining Canterbury Tourist Guides (in costume!). Pre-book at, The Roman Museum or at the Visitor Centre at The Beaney (charge applies).

Demelza – 18 Burgate

Pop in and see the Demelza team. Enjoy a tombola and cake sale, as well as a beautiful Medieval window display.

Espression Arts Interactive Arts Cafe – 29/30 Palace Street

From 1-4pm join the “Medieval Mugs” family ceramic painting drop in workshop.  Design, draw and paint your Medieval Mug using a range of Medieval designs and images ready for firing ready for use.  All ages welcome, no previous creative skills needed – lots of fun for all the family! £10 for each mug – refreshments and cakes available to purchase. Find out more.

Fitzgerald Jewellers, 26 Burgate, Canterbury CT1 2HA

Pick up your trail leaflet and enjoy some medieval colouring in at Fitzgerald Jewellers.

Jeeves & Johnson Emporium – 16 Burgate, Canterbury, CT1 2HG

Enjoy some mead tasting at Jeeves & Johnson Emporium on Burgate – 3 new meads will be showcased on the day!

Lakeland  – 2-4 Longmarket, Canterbury, CT1 2JS

Come in to Lakeland and enjoy samples of Medieval food and drinks, made in store!

Lily’s Bistro – 15 Palace Street

Running fun cooking sessions in which children can make some medieval treats. Times and details click here.

St Peter’s Church – St Peter’s Street

1.30 & 3pm enjoy performances of This Turbulant Preist. Full details click here.

Tiny Tims Tearoom – 34 st Margarets Street

Visit the tearooms for a medieval inspired treat.

Whirligig,  22 Sun St, Canterbury CT1 2HX

The wonderful toy shop, Whirligig will be offering an 11.74% discount off: swords, shields, medieval-themed items, knights and dragons.

Medieval Character Hunt throughout Whitefriars, Canterbury CT1 2TF

Find the medieval characters in the Whitefriars Summer Market and you could win a £25 Fenwick voucher, plus all entrants will receive a FREE Whitefriars book! Entry forms will be available from the market cabins on the day. See entry form for full terms and conditions.

See more photos from 2017 here