We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Fascinating example of a building that has surived from Saxon timesv”

St. Martin's Church
Ranked #3 of 76 things to do in Canterbury
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 1 April 2018

I was disappointed to find the church locked when I arrived but very soon a team of ladies arrived to do the Easter flowers and they allowed me to look around with a guide sheet. Fascinating to see how the building had been developed over the centuries, from Saxon times(using Roman bricks) onwards.
Rather saddened to see that part of the grave yard had been taken over by drug users and there was their litter of syringes and graffiti in what should have been a peaceful place. ( I mentioned this to the flower ladies and they said they have to clear this up every day. Nothing can be done sadly....)

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank Jill F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (170)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
All reviews
"english speaking"
in 22 reviews
"opening times"
in 9 reviews
"roman walls"
in 5 reviews
"king ethelbert"
in 4 reviews
"baptismal font"
in 3 reviews
"interesting cemetery"
in 2 reviews
"unesco site"
in 2 reviews
"anglo saxon"
in 5 reviews
"roman times"
in 6 reviews
"donation box"
in 2 reviews
"well worth the effort"
in 2 reviews
"peaceful place"
in 4 reviews
"from france"
in 2 reviews
"city centre"
in 6 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 8 reviews
"pleasant walk"
in 3 reviews
"historical significance"
in 2 reviews

19 - 23 of 170 reviews

Reviewed 31 March 2018

One of three churches in Canterbury inscribed by UNESCO, this is also the oldest of the three. Founded in 496 AD, this church predated both Canterbury Cathedral and St. Augustine Abbey. It's both the oldest church in England and the oldest church in continuous use.

The church is almost like a fine miniature example of Gothic Perpendicular style and much of the architectural features of the interior remain sympathetic to the original design. The stained glass windows pay testimony to Queen Bertha of Kent, who founded the church and who converted her pagan husband Æthelberht of Kent to christianity.

Absolutely beautifully little church to visit. The church do not charge an entrance fee, so do donate for the upkeep of the church.

Date of experience: March 2018
1  Thank macedonboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 February 2018 via mobile

This is the oldest church in the English speaking world which really gives one pause when standing inside it. It was established in 579 AD when the Catholic Queen Bertha of France married the pagan Anglo Saxon King Ethelbert. The church has well preserved Roman walls as well as a wonderful 800 year old baptismal font.

A little off the beaten path but well worth it. There is a reason it is a UNESCO site!

Date of experience: February 2018
2  Thank Wandering963
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2018

This UNESCO site is a short walk from town. It has an interesting graveyard which has seating so you can enjoy the afternoon sun. The church itself is very old and of historical significance.

Date of experience: January 2018
1  Thank Jeff M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 18 January 2018

I December, I took my nephew to Canterbury for his tenth birthday. As French persons, we had heard about the famous cathedral but nothing about this church which turns out to be the oldest one in England ! During opening times, volunteers (we met a very noce and helpful lady) take it in turns to welcome people and tell the story of St. Martin's Church. From what I remember : Bertha was a French princess who had been brought up it Tours. She got married to the pagan King of kent Ethelbert and was allowed to practise her religion (otherwise she would not have gotten married !) in what used to be a Roman church or a pagan temple. So at least the church dates back from the 6th Century ! Even the cemetery is worth a visit : we saw a tomb dating back from 1686.
This place is not as big as the cathedral, not as famous, but it is absolutely lovely. And this is where it all started !

Date of experience: December 2017
Thank TrailBlazer371075
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed St. Martin's Church also viewed


Been to St. Martin's Church? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing