St George's Church tower


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Canterbury (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TR 15104 57657


St George’s Church tower, 109m ESE of Whitefriars.

Reasons for Designation

A parish church is a building, usually of roughly rectangular outline and containing a range of furnishings and fittings appropriate to its use for Christian worship by a secular community, whose members gather in it on Sundays and on the occasion of religious festivals. Children are initiated into the Christian religion at the church's font and the dead are buried in its churchyard. Parish churches were designed for congregational worship and are generally divided into two main parts: the nave, which provides accommodation for the laity, and the chancel, which is the main domain of the priest and contains the principal altar. Either or both parts are sometimes provided with aisles, giving additional accommodation or spaces for additional altars. Most parish churches also possess towers, generally at the west end, but central towers at the crossing of nave and chancel are not uncommon and some churches have a free-standing or irregularly sited tower. Many parish churches also possess transepts at the crossing of chancel and nave, and south or north porches are also common. The main periods of parish church foundation were in the 10th to 11th and 19th centuries. Most medieval churches were rebuilt and modified on a number of occasions and hence the visible fabric of the church will be of several different dates, with in some cases little fabric of the first church being still easily visible.

Despite later alterations, St George’s Church tower 109m ESE of Whitefriars survives well. It includes some well-preserved architectural details such as the 12th century doorway and the 15th century traceried lancet windows.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 18 December 2014. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes a medieval parish church tower situated on the east side of St George’s Street in Canterbury.

The tower is built of flint with occasional ragstone including ragstone quoins and dressings. At ground floor level in the north-west face is a 12th century round headed doorway with attached shafts and scallop caps. The tower has a crenellated parapet. At the top of the tower on each elevation and between two string courses are 15th century two-light traceried lancet windows. Below these are small rectangular windows. On the south-west elevation is a clock supported by a stone bracket featuring a crouching figure. At the north corner is a buttress.

The flooring consists of monumental slabs. A plaque on the site states that Christopher Marlowe was baptised here in 1564. A four-centred headed door close to the south-east angle originally provided access to a stairway but was blocked at a later date.

St George’s Church was apparently extant in 1200, although much of the surviving fabric in the church tower dates to the 15th century. The nave of the church was orientated north-west to south-east, the tower being situated at the north-west end. There was a churchyard to the north-east. The church was restored and enlarged in 1871. However much of the building was destroyed by bomb damage in 1942. Partial excavation in 1991-2 recorded remains in the area of the former church and cemetery destroyed in the air raid.

The church tower is Grade II listed.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
KE 96
Legacy System:


Kent HER TR 15 NE 119. NMR TR 15 NE 119. PastScape 464461. LBS 441186.


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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