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Did you know?

 

  • Over the centuries the building has been a medieval Poor Priests’ Hospital, house of correction, Blue Coat charity school, organ builder’s workshop, World War Two ambulance station, baby clinic, family planning centre, and Buffs East Kent Regiment Museum.

     

  • Rooms of coin minter Lambin Frese’s house, including distinctive herringbone-patterned fireplaces, can be reached through trapdoors in the floors of the first two museum rooms. Lambin was paid big money to move his mint workshop here, after sparks from his furnace were the likely cause of a devastating fire at Canterbury Cathedral in 1174.

     

  • The Vikings brought the horse stirrup to Britain. The one on display may have been lost by a warrior in the army of Thorkell the Tall, which sacked Canterbury in AD 1011. Archbishop of Canterbury Alphege was taken hostage and later beaten to death with beef bones after a drunken feast.

     

  • The Bayeux Tapestry was probably made in Canterbury. Some of the evidence pointing to this – stones carved with images of dogs and dragons – are on display. They are very similar to designs in the borders of the Bayeux Tapestry.

     

  • The Canterbury Cross, dating from about AD 850, and discovered beneath the streets of Canterbury in 1867, is often used as a symbol of the Anglican Church around the world. The original is on display in the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings room.

     

  • Three large pieces of rose-coloured marble, discovered in the River Stour during the 1980s, are believed to be fragments of Thomas Becket’s gold and jewel-encrusted Cathedral tomb.

     

  • A ghostly figure of a monk is reputed to haunt part of the museum. It was seen by workmen in the 1950s and even stole some of their tools!

     

  • Bagpuss was meant to be a marmalade-coloured cat. It all went horribly wrong in a fabric dyeing shop in Folkestone. He came out bright pink and the rest is history.

     

  • Rupert was originally called Little Lost Bear and in the early books often wore a blue jumper and cream trousers, before deciding on his now familiar red and yellow outfit.

     

  • Toys belonging to Blue Coat schoolboys who lodged here in Victorian times were found by archaeologists beneath the floorboards. They included a wooden spinning top, clay marble and small homemade leather ball. The skeleton of a rat was also found!

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Opening Times 

Find out the latest opening times.

 
 

Admission

Adults £8.00

Discounts £6.00

Children free to a maximum of two children per paying adult

Group tickets available

Joint ticket for Heritage Museum and Roman Museum (Wednesdays to Sundays until 28 September 2014)
Adults £10.00
Discounts £8.00

Admission free to MyTownMyCity users, except for some special events.

 
 

How to find us

Canterbury Heritage Museum
Stour Street, CT1 2NR

Phone: 01227 475202

Email: museums@canterbury.gov.uk