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Westgate Gardens, Canterbury, Kent

(51°16′50″N, 1°4′27″E)
now Kent
  • Toby Huitson
  • Toby Huitson
17 July 2022

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Feature Sets

The Westgate Gardens is a public park by the Westgate in Canterbury, along the Great Stour River. In the park is a Romanesque arch which appears to have no immediate context and has almost certainly been reset. The site was a private house until around 1850 and it was made into a public park in 1936.


None known.


Exterior Features



The arch was presumably created as a garden feature, probably in the Victorian era or in the early 20thc. As seen today, it seems out of proportion and is probably missing at least 30 cm in height at the base. The Canterbury Historical and Archaeological Society describes the feature as 'a folly possibly constructed from 11th-c Romanesque remains recovered from [a] demolished city abbey or priory'. To this list could be added one of the several parish churches which have disappeared since the 16thc like St Mary de Castro or St Andrew's.

There is a church nearby (Holy Cross, Westgate) but this was built in the late 14thc. One possible candidate could be St Gregory's Priory, founded by Lanfranc in 1084, the last vestiges of which seem to have disappeared in the late 19thc.


Anon., 'Westgate gardens', Canterbury Historical and Archaeological Society, online at www.canterbury-archaeology.org.uk/www.canterbury-archaeology.org.uk/westgategdn/4590809570.html (Consulted 2 August 2022).