On my trip to Canterbury we learned about the famous martyr, the Late Archbishop Thomas Becket along with many other interesting facts about the ancient cathedral, its architecture and history. The Cathedral has a mesmerising atmosphere; you felt that you should be slightly quieter as soon as you enter.
The story of Becket begins with a very strong friendship between King Henry II and Thomas Becket. The King decided that the Church had more power than he did which Henry did not appreciate! When Theobald (the former Archbishop) died in 1161, Henry decided to make Becket Archbishop. His plan was to have Becket as a minion, but it didn’t quite work out. Becket became very pious and devout and did as the Pope felt was right rather than what Henry wanted. Soon after the king and Thomas Becket fell out. If you aren’t on the side of the king, you aren’t liked by many people. The king was overheard by four knights that he wished someone would rid him ‘of this turbulent priest’ Thomas Becket. On the 29 December 1170, four knights, believing the king wanted Becket dead, confronted and murdered Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. Becket was made a saint in 1173 and his shrine in Canterbury Cathedral became an important focus for pilgrimage. We actually saw some steps that were worn away by the knees of so many pilgrims to this holy site!
It is said that many miracles have happened at the cathedral after the martyrdom of Becket. My favorite one that I learnt about is when Becket died, his head was sliced open and blood spilled everywhere. Cloth that was used to wipe up the blood was later placed over the eyes of a blind man and the blind man’s sight returned to him.
On the trip to the cathedral we spotted some stained glass windows. We asked our tour guide and he told us that those windows were especially made by one of the people that first drew a Walt Disney animation. If you weren’t surprised to hear that you will be surprised to hear the following: there are special prisms inside of the windows that create sparkles when light shines through it.
The Cathedral made me feel very curious because I was given a lot of information, but it just made me want to investigate the history even further! My favourite part of the cathedral was The Crypt which was particularly beautiful and interesting.
By Olivia, year 7.