"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on June 11, 2017 by Sioux under General
1 Comment


On our last day, we saw one friend off at the bus stop and then went off in search of Canterbury Castle, passing this cute statue on the way. The bronze sculpture apparently covers a diverse range of historical, religious and contemporary social currents through its singular sculptural form – a lamb standing on a tree stump. The almost pastoral statue contrasts strongly with its modern location.  

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We strolled along one of the original city walls, that runs alongside Dane John Gardens, which was a Roman cemetery and was converted into a motte-and-bailey castle in the 11th century. The gardens came into being between 1790 and 1803. The name “Dane John” is generally assumed to be a corruption of the Norman word “donjon”, meaning fortification. This timber motte and bailey castle was later abandoned and Canterbury Castle was built in 1123; its square, stone keep stands to this day. During WWII, part of the city walls near the gardens was turned into an ammunition depot, dug into the bank of the wall.  

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                                                                                                    The main focus of the gardens is a small hill, or mound, known until the 18th century as the Dungeon or Don John, and survives from a group of four Roman-British burial mounds of the 1st or 2nd century AD. The monument on top of the mound was erected in 1803 using public funds and bears a plaque which reads “This field and Hill were improved and these terraces, walks and plantations made in the year 1790 for the use of the public at the sole expense of James Simmons Esq of the city, alderman and banker”. 


The Boer War memorial was erected in memory of the soldiers of The Buffs East Kent Regiment and The

Imperial Yeomanry of East Kent, and a bandstand, originally erected in 1907 but rebuilt in later years; occupy

the area between the memorial and the mound. 

Tall lime trees, standing like soldiers on parade, line the sides of the avenue running through the gardens. In the centre of the avenue is a pond and water fountain. We were out early and there was a lot of mist, making the park look quite eerie. 

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This sculpture titled “Silent Table” in Dane John Gardens is on the Canterbury Sculpture Trail. 

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The most devastating bombing raid on Canterbury was known as the ‘Baedeker Blitz’ – a series of attacks by the Luftwaffe, targeting English cities chosen for their cultural and/or historical significance.


The name of the raids is a reference to the popular travel guides of the time, with a spokesman for the German Foreign Office reportedly saying, “We shall go out and bomb every building in Britain marked with three stars in the Baedeker Guide”. This plaque is in remembrance of those who died in the raids.

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QHS 289 (Canterbury)

Image courtesy of Google Images 

St George’s clock tower is all that remains of the medieval church of St George the Martyr. The church is best known as the place where playwright Christopher Marlowe was baptised. It is possible that there was a Saxon church here, as early as the 7th century, however recent archaeological excavations have discovered a late Iron Age or early Roman ditch beneath the church.  During one of the expansions of the church in the late 14th or early 15th century the current clock tower was added. 

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The church of St George was badly damaged by German bombs on 1 June, 1942, the same raid totally destroyed the nearby house in which Christopher Marlowe was born. The church was demolished in 1955, but the tower was saved to stand as a historic landmark. 

Canterbury Castle was one of the three original Royal castles of Kent

(the other two being Rochester Castle and Dover Castle), that were built

soon after the Battle of Hastings, on the main Roman road from Dover to

London, which was the route taken by William the Conqueror in 1066.


They were built originally as motte-and-bailey castles to guard this important route. This massive structure,

which is about 30m x 26m externally at the base, was originally probably at least 25m high. It is mainly made of flint and sandstone rubble, and by the 13th century had become the county jail. It was given up to the invading French in the First Barons’ War in 1215-1217. By the 19th century it had been obtained by a gas company and used as a storage centre for gas for many years, during which time the top floor was destroyed. 

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The Church of Saint Mildred near to the ruins of Canterbury Castle is an Anglo-Saxon stone church, probably dating back to the

11th century. It is located in the St. Mildred’s quarter of the historic city centre and is the only surviving pre-Norman church within the former city walls.

It is unknown when the church was originally built, but two of the walls of the nave are Anglo-Saxon, and are thought to have been preserved from before 1066.

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And then it was time to pack and head for London, a stroll around St James Park, a stop off at my most favourite house in England – The Duck Keepers House – a quick visit to Buckingham Palace and with heavy hearts, we parted company, me heading to work in Liverpool and my friend heading for a holiday in South Africa.


A wonderful way to end off my birthday month! A brilliant weekend with fabulous friends. Memories are made of this! 

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One response to “Birthday fun #9 – Tales to be told, fun to be had – part 3!”

  1. Chez says:

    So happy that you enjoyed your birthday month, very interesting birthday month you had! I love reading all your blogs thank you take care S x x

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