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Canterbury Cathedral by the Numbers

Want to know more about Canterbury Cathedral, which has for 1400 years been the centre of religious life in England? Take a look at this list of numbers, which goes from 1 to 1,001,266, that tells the story of the cathedral.

Canterbury Cathedral and Moon - photo by Robyn Cox / Flickr
Canterbury Cathedral and Moon – photo by Robyn Cox / Flickr

One

Only one king is buried inside Canterbury Cathedral – Henry IV. The decision of the king was unusual, as by that time it was becoming the standard practice for monarchs to be buried at Westminster Abbey. It is believed that Henry was particularly devoted to the cult of Thomas Becket and wished to be buried in the same church as the saint.

Three

The three nights during the Second World War when the German Luftwaffe attacked Canterbury Cathedral. The air attacks, which took place in 1942, involved the dropping of 130 high explosives and 3000 fire bombs. While much of the town of Canterbury was destroyed in the attack, the citizens saved the cathedral and even threw flaming pieces from its roof.

Four

The four knights who murdered Thomas Becket – Reginald fitzUrse, Hugh de Morville, William de Tracy, and Richard le Breton. Their actions on the December 29, 1170 inside Canterbury Cathedral would make Becket a martyr and one of the best known religious figures of the Middle Ages.

Nine

Nine of the first ten archbishops of Canterbury are saints. Starting with Augustine, the Benedictine monk who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 597, these men would be canonized for their role in established Christianity in England. The only archbishop who did not get this honour was Wighard, who died in Rome after travelling there to be confirmed for the position.

Twenty-Six

The 26 wagons that were needed to transport the gold, jewels and other treasures that King Henry VIII seized from Canterbury Cathedral in 1538, as part of his efforts to close the monasteries and destroy the shrines of saints.

One Hundred and Five

There have been 105 Archbishops of Canterbury. About 50 are buried in the cathedral, including Archbishop Henry Chichele (1425-33).

Two Hundred and Thirty-Five

A view up the central tower (aka Bell Harry Tower) of Canterbury Cathedral. Photo by Tobias von der Haar / Flickr
A view up the central tower (aka Bell Harry Tower) of Canterbury Cathedral. Photo by Tobias von der Haar / Flickr

The tallest point of Canterbury Cathedral is the Bell Harry Tower, which stands 235 feet high. It was built in 1496.

One Thousand Two Hundred

This stained glass window is in the Corona Chapel of Canterbury Cathedral. Photo by Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P. / Flickr
This stained glass window is in the Corona Chapel of Canterbury Cathedral. Photo by Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P. / Flickr

There are 1,200 square metres of stained glass in Canterbury Cathedral. Eight people are employed to conserve and repair the glass in the cathedral.

Three Thousand

The roof of the Nave, with around 3,000 lead tiles, is over 60 metres long – longer than an Olympic size swimming pool.

Eight Thousand

The archives of the cathedral contains about 8,000 charters, including 30 that date from before the Norman Conquest.

Nineteen Thousand

It costs about £19,000 per day to run Canterbury Cathedral. Luckily, the cathedral earns about the £21,000 per day from entrance fees, commercial enterprises, and property rentals, allowing it to save some money for larger conservation projects.

One Million One Thousand Two Hundred and Sixty-Six

In 2013, 1,001,266 people visited Canterbury Cathedral, making it the the 27th most visited attraction in Great Britain. It was written that in 1420, 100,000 pilgrims came to the Cathedral.

Take a look at our magazine
Take a look at our magazine

Learn more about Canterbury Cathedral:

The Fake Medieval Images in Canterbury Cathedral

Christ Church, Canterbury: The Spiritual Landscape of Pilgrimage

BOOKS: Canterbury Cathedral

Comparing Pilgrim Souvenirs and Trinity Chapel Windows at Canterbury Cathedral

 



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