Canterbury Bid

Medieval Pageant and Trail 2022



“Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Canterbury’s Medieval Pageant and Trail returns to the city on Saturday 2 July for plenty of medieval mayhem.”


11.00 – 11.45am – The colourful parade will enter through the Westgate Towers and process through the city centre. Expect historical characters, re-enactment groups, knights on horses, musicians and giants process all the way up to Canterbury Cathedral where music and merriment will be had!


11.30 – 5pm – Designed around children and their parents, the Westgate Towers, the Beaney, St Augustine’s Abbey, and many more be welcoming visitors with a range of activities including crafts, a chance to meet medieval characters and you can even visit a medieval encampment! When you visit places featured in the Family Trail, have your leaflet ‘stamped’.

If you can collect at least 5 stamps you will receive a FREE giant chocolate coin from the Cathedral Shop in the Buttermarket. 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! 

The full trail leaflet will be available to collect from the following locations on the day of the event:

  • All trail locations
  • Buttermarket – visit the Canterbury Guided Tours table
  • Whitefriars – visit the Medieval Character Hunt table

Alternatively, The Beaney on Canterbury High Street will have trail maps availble to collect from Wednesday 22 June.

A Celebration of Pilgrimage

In the Middle Ages Canterbury was a lively thriving and cosmopolitan city, just like today, with much of this due to its busy pilgrimage route.

Canterbury Cathedral has been a major pilgrimage destination following the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket in 1170 and his recognition as a saint in 1173. It became the third most important site of Christian pilgrimage in the world, after Jerusalem and Rome! Medieval Canterbury needed to cater for its visitors by providing hospitality (Eastbridge Hospital), souvenirs to purchase (the Pilgrim’s Badge) and all the items required for the long journey home.

Thanks to Geoffrey Chaucer (1342-1400), Canterbury’s Pilgrims became the lead characters in one of the most famous of all medieval books. He was the first person to tell a story in Middle English, the language used by ordinary people at the time.

Medieval Merchants – Schools Project

Local primary school children have been learning about the merchants of medieval Canterbury and have created special window displays of their own medieval items. Make sure to visit the following businesses on the 2 July!

Medieval Pilgrim Badges, Whirligig, Sun Street
Created by St Thomas’ Catholic Primary School
Badges inspired by tin lead pilgrim badges of St Thomas Becket made by badge makers in Mercery Lane.

Tyler Hill Tiles, Canterbury Potter, Buttermarket
Created by St Peter’s Primary School
Medieval floor tiles inspired by a tile design discovered under the Cathedral’s Cloisters.

The Canterbury Silver Penny, Rock Paper Scissors, Stour Street
Created by St Stephen’s Infant School
A hoard of giant silver pennies of King Henry II, minted in Canterbury by moneyer Lambin Frese.

Medieval Fast Food, Canterbury Wholefood, Burgate
Created by St Stephen’s Infant School
Find out what medieval food and drink might have been eaten by visiting pilgrims.

Medieval Trail Stops (running from 11.30-5pm):

St Martins’ Church
North Holmes Road, Canterbury, CT1 1QJ (no wheelchair and buggy access)
UNESCO World Heritage Site: a church that has been in continuous use as a place of worship since the 6th century!

St Augustine’s Abbey
Longport, Canterbury CT1 1PF 
Enjoy FREE entry to one of the most important monasteries in medieval England. Join a medieval monk and a merry pilgrim at St. Augustine’s as they illuminate the abbey, tell stories, sing songs and lead you in a dance around the grounds.

12.30-2.30pm Canterbury Shakespeare Festival Open Rehearsal

Medieval Encampment at Christ Church University
Christ Church University Campus
Visit Ost Centingas’ medieval encampment in the idilyic Coleridge Garden and discover more about medieval life.

Dragon Hunt at Christ Church University
Church University Campus
Make your heraldic shield then go and find the lurking dragon in the Becket garden.

St Paul’s Church
Church Street, CT1 1NH
Meet experts in medieval history from Canterbury Christ Church University and find out more about the past with a very special game of Medieval Animal I Spy.

St Thomas’ Roman Catholic Church
Burgate, CT1 2HJ
See a relic of Becket and a painting showing the saints of Canterbury.
Explore the church and enjoy some craft activities.

The Pilgrim Badge Maker
St Thomas’ Church Garden, Burgate, CT1 2HJ
Watch Lionheart Replicas demonstrate how medieval pilgrims’
badges were made, and take a look at some original badges!

Canterbury Cathedral
Cathedral Welcome Centre, Buttermarket, CT1 2EH

Visit the Viewing Gallery (just above the welcome centre) and meet the
Wildwood team. Discover the connection between Thomas Becket and the
chough. Why are its beak and feet red? You can also try making your very
own origami chough.

St Mildred’s Church
Church Lane, CT1 2PP  
Come and see Roman stonework, a 14th century beamed roof and a medieval font and have a go at brass rubbing.

The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge
Ground Floor, The Beaney, High Street, CT1 2RA
Discover medieval Printmaking, Wheat Weaving and Calligraphy with Illumination provided by members of Roughe Musick at the Beaney Café (ground floor).

The Eastbridge Hospital
High Street, CT1 2BD
Visit this historic building which provided lodgings for pilgrims in the Middle Ages and try your hand at making Tussie Mussies!

Franciscan Gardens
60 St Peter’s Street, CT1 2BD
Discover this oasis of peace right at the heart of the city, where the first Franciscan Friary was built in England.

St Peter’s Anglican Church
St Peter’s St, Canterbury CT1 2AT
Visit this fantastic medieval church and pick up your ‘intention’ to be delivered to Canterbury Cathedral. Discover more about this year’s pilgrim festival and pilgrimage with the Kent Downs team.

12.15-1.30 Sock Puppet Kids Drop-in Workshop (make a sock puppet
and perform Shakespeare!)

Westgate Towers
1 Pound Lane, CT1 2BZ (CLOSES 4pm – no wheelchair and buggy access)
Climb to the battlements of the historic 600 year old Westgate Towers, England’s largest surviving medieval gateway, and try your hand at creating a medieval seal.

Westgate Gardens
Canterbury, CT1 2BQ  
Visit a live archaeological pit being excavated by the Canterbury Archaeological Society. The Friends of Westgate Park will be on hand to
provide you with a stamp.

1-2pm and 3-4pm Canterbury Shakespeare Festival outdoor performances by Tower House

St Dunstan’s Church
80 London Road, Canterbury CT2 8LS
Visit this church named after an archbishop-saint, where King Henry II stopped on his way to the cathedral in July 1174. The skull of St Thomas More (d. 1535) is in a crypt of the church. While there, make your own chough flag.

The fun doesn’t stop there! Enjoy plenty of additional activities accross the city.

Medieval Character Hunt
Whitefriars Shopping Centre

Visit Whitefriars Shopping Centre and take part in the Medieval Characters hunt. If you find them all you can win a book! While you are there, get a selfie with our giants who will be striking a post throughout the afternoon.

Take a selfie with a Chough or Bison
Guildhall Street, Canterbury

Visit Guildhall Street’s window vinyls and take a photo with either a Bison or a giant Chough (or both) and find out more about Wildwood’s rewilding project.

50% Discount on Kids Meals
The Foundry, Stour Street, Canterbury

Enjoy a meal at The Foundry on Stour Street where they are offering 50% off any item on the Children’s menu all day.

Enjoy a tour with a local expert
Visit their stand in the Buttermarket

Visit their stand in the Buttermarket and discover more about the city’s rich history (and book onto a tour!).

Medieval Food at City Feast

As part of the King’s Week celebrations, you are also invited to the following events:

Pottery Throwdown
3.30-5.30pm, The Green Court Marquee, King’s School
Try your hand at the King’s Pottery Throwdown for free. Learn how to throw on the wheel.

Twelfth Night
7.30pm, Outdoor Theatre at King’s School
An outdoor performance as part of King’s Week, join students as they perform this summery comedy of chaos, confusion, and Cupid!
Tickets availabe:

Medieval Pageant and Trail Map

Paper copies of the below trail leaflet will be available to collect from the following locations on the day of the event:

  • All trail locations
  • Buttermarket – visit the Canterbury Guided Tours table
  • Whitefriars – visit the Medieval Character Hunt table

Alternatively, The Beaney on Canterbury High Street will have trail maps availble to collect from Monday 20 June. Click image below to access the full pdf document:

Can’t wait until 2 July? Fear not – you can try you hand at various medieval activities by clicking on the banner below. Back in 2020 we hosted a virtual pageant – a jam-packed day of craft activities, virtual tours, a zoom fanfare and much more! All the activities and music created especially for the pageant are available HERE.

Keep up to date with the latest Pageant news on Ye Olde Medieval Pageant Facebook page:

Click here to View 2019 Medieval Pageant and Trail photo album