Canterbury was the first Church of England and in the 12" century a rich and powerful monastery of Benedictine monks. In 1170 the bishop, Thomas Becket was murdered by knights who believed that they were doing King Henry II's will by ridding the sovereign of a cleric who maintained the independence of the church in legal matters. Henry did penance. Becket was promoted by the monks as a great saint, and they recorded the miracles he performed for rich and poor, great and humble in books and in the stained glass. His tomb became a place for pilgrimages, vividly described by Chaucer in the Canterbury Tales.
1. Canterbury, Gate that marked the separation between the town and cathedral precinct.
2. Canterbury Cathedral, west facade 15th century
2a. Interior West Facade and Nave.
3. Canterbury Cathedral, choir (east) showing window of Miracles of Becket, 1215-20.
3a. Canterbury Cathedral, plan before fire in 1174
3b. Canterbury Cathedral after rebuilding, about 1220.
4 Canterbury Cathedral, choir, Trinity Chapel, south
5. Canterbury Cathedral, choir, Trinity Chapel, north
6. Canterbury Cathedral, detail of window in Trinity Chapel showing Shrine of St. Thomas designed by Elias of Durham. The shrine was faces with gold and stood on an elevated base in the middle of the Trinity Chapel
7. Canterbury Cathedral, choir, Trinity Chapel, north, closer view of Becket Miracle windows.
8. Canterbury Cathedral, Miracle Window n:II - c. 1215-20, Showing the plague at the house of Jordan Fitz Eisulf
9. Canterbury Cathedral, Miracle Window n:II - c. 1215-20, Detail of St Thomas emerging to strike the household because Fitz Eisulf has failed his promise to give thanks to St. Thomas for a miracle.
10. Canterbury Cathedral, Miracle Window, n:III -c. 1215-20, Showing the unjust sentence that results in Eilward of Westoning blinded and castrated.
11. Canterbury Cathedral, Miracle Window, n:III - c. 1215-20, Eilward of Westoning cured after he prays to St. Thomas
12. Canterbury Cathedral, Miracle Window, c. 1215-20, Bobby of Rochester who drowned while throwing stones at frogs. His parents pull him from the river, restored to life by St. Thomas