Category Archives: Canterbury

Plum Pudding, riots and lechery: Christmas in the 17th century

In 1644, the Puritans gained control of Parliament. With Grinch-like fervour they set about cancelling Christmas. At a stroke, the traditional 12-day festival – a prolonged period of merriment and revelry characterised by rich food, dancing and excess – was … Continue reading

Posted in 12 days of Christmas, 17th century, Canterbury, Christmas, Christmas pudding, Festivals, Food, Grinch, History, Pepys, Plum Pudding, Puritans, Riots | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Canterbury Tale: sudden death and a hint of poison

At the east end of Canterbury Cathedral is a mysterious tomb. Placed awkwardly between two pillars, it lies in one of the Cathedral’s most prestigious burial sites, the Trinity Chapel, formerly the location of Becket’s shrine. This unadorned tomb is … Continue reading

Posted in Canterbury, Cathedrals, Exiles, History, Huguenots, Odet de Coligny | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Devil’s Advocate? Witches vs The Law

What images are conjured up by the word ‘witch’? Hags silhouetted against the night-sky performing aerial acrobatics on broomsticks or brewing strange potions in a cauldron? Strange old ladies accompanied by black cats? Or children with black pointed hats and … Continue reading

Posted in Canterbury, Cathedrals, History, Law, Myth, Witches | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Murder, Martyrdom and the Quest for Bones

As the sun was setting late in December, four armed men strode through the Cathedral precincts determined to arrest one of the country’s most powerful men – or, at least, teach him a lesson. They had probably been drinking and … Continue reading

Posted in Canterbury, Cathedrals, History, King Henry II, Plantagenets, Rochester, St Thomas Becket, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment