Anglo-Saxon Churches in England.

Christianity and St. Augustine.

Early churches.

The earliest post-Augustine churches are mostly confined to Kent, and share certain features in common. The most important group are to be found in Canterbury itself, and consist of the complex ruins on the site of St Augustine’s Abbey. This site was extensively excavated in the early part of the 20th century. The most important building uncovered was St Augustine’s own church, dedicated to SS Peter and Paul. In keeping with the other early Kentish churches, it consisted of a rectangular nave with a porch or narthex and a chancel with a stilted apse. The main body of the church was flanked by side chapels known as porticus, in which burials were laid, as at this period burials were not permitted inside the nave or chancel. Bede informs us that the NE porticus contained the bodies of Augustine and his successors, while the SE one contained those of Ethelbert, Bertha and bishop Luidhard. Aligned on St Augustine's church were the churches of St Mary and St Pancras. All the Augustinian churches share certain features in common, they are small missionary churches intended for a few followers, simply built and sometimes reusing Roman materials. All, however, are modelled on the Roman basilica and all are built in stone.(i)

(i) source: Anglo-Saxon England by Lloyd & Jennifer Laing. ISBN 0 7100 01134

Syrians, The. & Kentish churches

Canterbury, Abbey of St. Augustine

go to main menu

back to home page

photo pages of individual selected churches