Canterbury Cathedral Archives

Location
  • Archives Hub Features
  • Web
  • Email
  • Telephone
      +44(0)1227 865 330
  • Address
    • The Precincts, Canterbury, CT1 2EH, England, United Kingdom
  • Directions
    • The Archives and Library Reading Room is located within the precincts of Canterbury Cathedral. On arrival at Christ Church Gate please ask a member of staff to direct you.
  • Opening Hours
    • Tuesday-Thursday, 9:15-4:45, and the first Saturday of the month, 9:15-12:45. It is sometimes necessary for the archives to close. For more information on opening hours or any upcoming closure periods please see: https://www.canterbury-cathedral.org/heritage/archives-library/visits/
  • Access Information
      Access is subject to preservation requirements and all use must conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act.All readers must register and have a CARN Ticket. If you do not already have a CARN Ticket please get in touch and we will advise you on what documentation you will need to bring.All readers must register and have a CARN Ticket. If you do not already have a CARN Ticket please get in touch and we will advise you on what documentation you will need to bring.
  • Advance Orders
      Documents can be ordered in advance via email or telephone. Pre-ordering is advised.
  • Photographs Allowed
      depending on the material
  • Reproduction Services
      A photocopying and digitisation service is offered for a fee to both on-site visitors and remote enquirers. Certain restrictions apply.
  • Public Internet Access
      Wi-fi is available in the Reading Room. Please ask a member of staff for details.
  • Facilities for Disabled Persons
      The Reading Room is accessible by a lift. Accessible toilets are located next to the Reading Room and Accessible Parking can be arranged in advance for blue-badge holders.
  • Archival and Other Holdings

    The Archive of the Cathedral

    The historic records of the Cathedral date back to the 9th century. In the collection, there are some 20 Anglo-Saxon charters, which date from before the Norman Conquest of 1066. Taken together, these are the Cathedral’s oldest possessions, which predate any of the buildings seen standing today.

    The archive tells the story of the Cathedral, its buildings, its estates and its community from medieval times right up to the present day. A rich collection, ranging from paper or parchment documents, some with seals, to photographs and architectural drawings, it has always been kept within the Precincts.

    In 2016, the pre-Reformation archive of the Cathedral was added to the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register, thus gaining recognition as one of the most important collections of its type. It includes the charters, registers, financial and administrative records, estate records and court records kept by the medieval Cathedral.

    The Archive of the City of Canterbury

    The Cathedral Archives is the record office for the City of Canterbury. It holds the records of Canterbury City Council and its predecessor bodies, which date from the 12th century right up to the present day. These records make up a rich resource for the study of all areas covered by the current boundaries of Canterbury District, including the coastal towns of Whitstable and Herne Bay.

    We also hold the records and music of the Canterbury Catch Club. Founded in 1779 and continuing until 1865, the Catch Club was one of the foremost social clubs in the city. The members met in a local pub to sing catches (a type of round), glees, duets and solo songs.

    Archives and Libraries of East Kent Parishes

    The Archives and Library holds the parish records for eastern Kent, more specifically the records of parishes included in the pre-2011 Archdeaconry of Canterbury. Most of our parish registers are included on Findmypast.

    The Archive of the Diocese of Canterbury

    Held in the Archives are the central records of the Diocese of Canterbury, dating back to the 14th century. These include tithe records, church court records, visitation records, and many records relevant to family history. For an index to pre-1858 wills for the Diocese of Canterbury please see: http://wills.canterbury-cathedral.org/

    Parish Council Records

    The Archives holds the records of the following parish councils: Blean, Chartham, Fordwich, Hackington, Harbledown, Littlebourne and Kingston.

    Other Archives Collections

    The Archives holds the records of numerous local individuals, families, organisations and businesses, mostly for the Canterbury area. These include the records of St Augustine’s Missionary College, records of local hospitals and almshouses, and the archive collections of local churchmen.

  • Notes
      A photocopying and digitisation service is offered for a fee to both on-site visitors and remote enquirers. Certain restrictions apply.