St Dunstan's Church
The church was founded by Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury, at the end of the 11th century, and was certainly the first in England to be dedicated to St Dunstan (Archbishop of Canterbury 960-988).
After Henry II's conflict with Archbishop Thomas Becket led to the latter's murder in Canterbury Cathedral, the king performed a public penance on 18 July 1174. He rode to the outskirts of Canterbury, where he stopped at St Dunstan's church, donned penitential garments, and removed his shoes. From here he walked barefoot to Becket's cathedral where he was scourged by the monks.
Three and a half centuries later and St Dunstan's once more played a part in the nation's history. Thomas More, then one of the most powerful men in the realm, was executed in 1535 for his refusal to bow to Henry VIII's claim. St Nicholas Chapel (The Roper Chapel) is the highlight of any visit to St Dunstan's. The Roper family vault is beneath the chapel floor, and it is here that the head of St Thomas More is stored.
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