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The city walls and an avenue of lime trees provide Dane John gardens a sense of enclosure and escape from the busy road and bustling shopping centre just a few yards away. There are excellent views over the city and the surrounding countryside from the top of the mound.
Within the gardens is a safe play area for children, a newly built bandstand – a venue for traditional concerts throughout the summer – and a fountain which provides the focus for the shaded walk along the avenue of lime trees.
The historic gardens, located within the city walls of Canterbury, date back to 1551. The gardens contain a mound believed to date from the first century AD and later a Norman motte and bailey castle after which the gardens are named. In 1790 a local dignitary named Alderman James Simmons laid the park into formal gardens. In 1999, Canterbury City Council completed a million pound renovation of the park supported by the Heritage Lottery Fun and local sponsorship.