Canterbury Heritage Museum

This remarkable building, housing the museum’s vast collection, has lived through six centuries of the city’s history. Rebuilt in its current form in 1373, it stands today as one of Canterbury’s  finest surviving medieval buildings.

Beginning life in around 1200 as a medieval alms house it later became St Mary’s Hospital for Poor Priests. Over the centuries the museum has served a number of purposes including an organ builder’s workshop, World War Two ambulance station and a family planning centre.

The building’s original rooms and features have become a highlight for many visitors. The Great Hall, where priests would have feasted and slept around an open fire, boasts a magnificent oak-beamed roof.

In 1575, after the building had been granted to the City, it became a house of correction, followed by a workhouse and boys’ school in the early 1700s. By 1879 the lands and revenues were used to build a new grammar school, named after the 13th Century Archdeacon of Canterbury, Simon Langton.

A century passed and the building eventually came to be known as Canterbury Heritage Museum., The building is now home to artefacts, dating from the Bronze Age to World War II, which collectively tell the story of Canterbury’s fascinating history.

Period 14th Century to Present
Location Canterbury
Material Various, features include flint and oak
Find me in Throughout Canterbury Heritage Museum

DID YOU KNOW? Through trapdoors in the museum’s floor are the rooms of a coin minter named Lambin Frese. Lambin was paid big money to move his mint workshop here, after sparks from his furnace were the likely cause of a devastating fire at Canterbury Cathedral in 1174.