(active 1070s in Canterbury)

General view

begun 1070-73
Church of Sts. Peter and Paul, Canterbury

The first monumental buildings of the English Romanesque were built from 1070 in Canterbury, the city where St. Augustine had become England's first bishop in 601.

Rebuilding of the Canterbury Cathedral, which originated from the ninth century, and destroyed by fire in 1067, was begun in 1070 under Archbishop Lanfranc (1070-1077) and continued under Lanfranc's successor Anselm (1093-1109) and his prior Ernulph (1096-1107) and eventually completed by Prior Conrad (1108-1126).

An important rival of the Canterbury Cathedral was the rebuilt Abbey of Sts. Peter and Paul, which was built by Abbot Scotland (1070-87) outside the east walls of the city. This was where St. Augustine had founded a monastery in 598, hence its later name St. Augustine's Abbey. Scotland was the fist Norman abbot (from Mont-Saint-Michel) and started on his large new building between 1070-73. It was not only a few meters higher than the cathedral, but even copied its basic shape (façade with two towers, columned nave and aisles without alternation, projecting transept with apses) though it replaced its chapels in echelon with the rather more extravagant solution of surrounding the choir with and ambulatory and radiating chapels over a spacious crypt.

The ground plan of the church, which was destroyed from 1538, can be made out in the ruins which were excavated in a Canterbury meadow, and its elevation would have been similar to models in Normandy, and the slightly older Canterbury Cathedral.

The photo shows the ruins of the nave of the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul, on the grounds of St Augustine's Abbey.

View the ground plan of the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul, Canterbury.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.