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The Anglo-Saxon churches of Canterbury archaeologically reconsidered

Blockley, Kevin (2000) The Anglo-Saxon churches of Canterbury archaeologically reconsidered. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The Anglo-Saxon churches of Canterbury have been reconsidered from an archaeological perspective with a view to understanding their layout, function, and development. Canterbury cathedral was excavated in 1993, revealing four Anglo-Saxon phases, commencing with Augustine’s first church in 597. In the early 9th century the cathedral was re-built on a larger scale, re-built in the mid 10th century, and finally saw the addition of an apsed western structure with hexagonal stair towers in the early 11th century. St Augustine's abbey complex comprised the church of Sts Peter & Paul and the, chapel of St Mary in the early 7th century, and saw the addition of St Pancras chapel probably during the first half of the 7th century. Later additions included at least three phases of cloisters, the earliest of which may have been built in the mid 8th century, and a further chapel, free-standing tower, and rotunda built-in the mid 11th century. Further east was St Martin's church interpreted as a Roman mausoleum, used by Queen Bertha for Christian worship in the 6th century, and perhaps expanded in the early 7th century by Augustine. The thesis has been divided into two sections. Section 1 provides an introduction to Canterbury’s Anglo-Saxon churches, a detailed presentation of the evidence from excavations, a summary of the historical and written sources, an interpretation of each church with parallels and dating evidence, and is concluded by a general discussion of their design, development and topographical layout. Section 2 provides thematic discussion of the wider setting of Anglo-Saxon occupation in Canterbury which started in the mid 5th century, and a critical review of 20 sites claimed as Anglo-Saxon monasteries. It also has a discussion of the Continental parallels, identifying distinct area of influence for Canterbury's Anglo- Saxon churches, and ends with some suggestions for further research.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2000
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:01 Aug 2012 11:46

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