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In the church’s stonework you can see hundreds of Roman bricks, although it isn’t known if these are from a surviving Roman building or were reused in Anglo-Saxon times.The baptistery has an astonishing Norman tub font, fashioned from Caen stone and with carvings of arcades and interlocking circles.Sarah Beeny is a renowned property expert, businesswoman, TV presenter and writer, well-known for fronting Channel 4’s Double Your House for Half the Money, Help!My House is Falling Down, Restoration Nightmare and Property Ladder.This Norman construction was badly damaged in a fire in 1174 and restored in various Gothic styles.Give yourself as much time as you can afford, to see the Perpendicular-style nave, with marvellous fan vaulting at the crossing, the sublime 14th-century choir screen, the 14th and 15th-century cloisters, beautiful Romanesque side chapels and stained glass windows dating from the 12th century.
Inside there’s a large set of works by another Canterbury native, the Victorian landscape painter Thomas Sidney Cooper, along with a few Old Masters, including a portrait of Sir Basil Dixwell by Anthony van Dyck.
A testament to the revival of Christianity in England, St Augustine’s Abbey was founded by St Augustine, the first Archbishop of Canterbury, in 598.
For centuries it was Kent’s only religious house of real significance, and its importance was recognised by invading Danes and the Normans, who constructed a Romanesque monastery to replace the old Saxon buildings.
The garden, with formal flowerbeds, incorporates a part of Canterbury’s Roman wall and the former London Road Gate.
There’s a beautiful Norman arch, relocated here during the Victorian period from the ruins of St Augustine’s Abbey.