Canterbury's importance to the Romans lay in it being a port on the western side of the Wantsum Channel.
A wooden motte and bailey castle was erected in 1066 and the motte, known as Dane John, is still visible. The large keep, the third largest in England after Dover and Rochester, was rebuilt in stone in 1100 but by 1600 it was in ruins and the curtain wall was removed in the 18th century. The lower half of the keep still remains, the top floor having been destroyed in the 19th century when it was used as a coal store.
The city walls are mainly Roman, dating from the end of the 3rd century, although they were repaired in the 14th century and strengthened with 21 towers. At least half of the city walls are now visible on the eastern side of the city, but only 9 of the towers still stand. There were originally 6 gates to the city, Newgate, Riding Gate, Burgate, Wincheap Gate and Worth Gate as well as the city's West Gate which dates from 1380. Of these only West Gate remains and even this was almost demolished in 1850 to widen the road. From 1543 to 1929 it was used as the city's prison.
|A290 Rheims Way, at the south end of Castle Street.|
|Castle St, Canterbury CT1 2PR|