New Canterbury visitor attraction to open in July

Date Posted: 29/06/2011

Canterbury’s Westgate Towers and former Victorian prison are scheduled to open as a brand new visitor attraction in July.

Reportedly the largest medieval gatehouse in England, the Westgate Towers has stood for over 600 years on the site of the former Roman gateway, keeping guard over the road to and from London. Immortalised in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, thousands of medieval pilgrims have passed through the Westgate Towers on the way to visit the shrine of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. Located alongside and linked by a high level bridge stands the former Victorian prison, with a history of rebellion, torment and execution.

The opening follows a year of preparation work, and visiting groups can explore the stories of this historic site, with the chance to climb to the battlements for a view across Canterbury to its iconic cathedral. Guided tours are available for parties of up to ten people, which include access to restricted areas. Groups can also book morning coffee, light lunches and cream teas on the ground floor City Gaol Cafe.

For further information telephone: 01227-789576, e-mail or log onto 

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