Records of the Diocese of Canterbury

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

This large collection of records covers most of the administration of the diocese of Canterbury from the fourteenth century onwards. This includes the records of the central administration, Convocation and other church assemblies, church property and buildings, and the administration of church schools. Some parish administration is included, such as confirmation lists and bishop's transcripts, tithes, visitations and matters concerning the benefice. The diocese also handled Dissenting congregations, church courts, licences and wills up to 1837. Other groups of records relate to the Synod, the ruridecanal Chapter and Conference and committees of the Archdeacons and Rural deans.

Administrative / Biographical History

The bishopric of Canterbury comprised one archdeaconry until 1841 when the archdeaconry of Maidstone was created. From this date onwards there were many boundary changes between dioceses and archdeaconries. The bishop of Canterbury is also the archbishop and so some diocesan records are among the archbishop's records.


Most of the records are now catalogued.

Conditions Governing Access

Mostly open but some restrictions may apply to later material especially from the last 30 years.

Other Finding Aids

Detailed hard copy catalogue is available in the search room.


Further records will be added to this collection.

Additional Information

The original probate records are stored at The Centre for Kentish Studies, Maidstone, Kent.