A walled city generally holds more easily that elusive quality of romance for which the intelligent mind so often hungers than a town that has long ago discarded its old tower-studded girdle. And among the half-dozen or more English towns still possessed of their old mural defences Canterbury holds a high place, because within its walls there are still, in spite of railways and motors and the horrors of twentieth-century advertising, a hundred byways and nooks where the atmosphere of Elizabethan and pre-Reformation England still lurks. The wall itself does not stand out with the splendid completeness of York or Conway, and on the western side it has vanished altogether, while of the seven or eight gates, one only - the West Gate - has been saved; yet, while walking in the narrow, picturesque streets, it is difficult to forget that Canterbury is a walled city. Until well into last century all the gates were standing; but one by one these ornaments were destroyed by the city until one only was left, and even that would have been wantonly sacrificed to facilitate the entry of some circus caravans when, in 1850, Wombwell's menagerie visited the city! This vandal showman actually dared to request the Corporation to demolish the gate on account of the difficulty of getting his procession through the low arch. This is hard to believe, but it is infinitely more difficult to understand the aboriginal minds of some of the members of the Corporation when the records unblushingly reveal that the showman's preposterous request not only found both a proposer and a seconder, but that the votes were equally divided on the matter, and it was only the Mayor's casting vote which has preserved for the city its noble entry. Such a searchlight as this, throwing into dazzling clearness the almost entire lack of appreciation for its historic buildings possessed by the controllers of the city must make one grateful for the happy chances which have permitted so much that is old and picturesque to survive.

From the East Station there extends as far as the site of the old Riding Gate a well-preserved length of the wall with semicircular towers at intervals, and from opposite Lady Wootton's Green to St. Mary's Church, standing close to the site of North Gate, lengths of the wall, with a tower at intervals, form thrillingly medieval foregrounds for the Cathedral towers. In Pound Lane the wall continues in a furtive and rather desultory fashion until it ends at the West Gate. Opposite Lady Wootton's Green there still remain indications of a narrow postern, which is generally accepted as that through which Queen Bertha was wont to pass on her way to her devotions at St. Martin's Church. This, however, presupposes that the portion of the wall immediately surrounding this particular point is Roman or very Early Saxon, and also that the walls of the city occupied the same position, at least as far as this point, as those built at the end of the twelfth century.

Mr. T. Godfrey Faussett's plan of Roman Canterbury appears to carry the wall just as far as this point, and then turns at an acute angle towards the south side of the Cathedral. Following the direction Queen Bertha would have taken brings one to the great gateway of St. Augustine's Abbey, the Benedictine monastery founded by Augustine on the land given for that purpose by Ethelbert. It was at first dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, and the original buildings were finished in 613. Having become the place of burial for the Kings of Kent and the Archbishops, the Abbey quite overshadowed the Priory of Christ Church, until in 758 Archbishop Cuthbert was secretly buried within the claustral confines of his own priory. At the Dissolution Henry converted the stately buildings into a palace, so that the royal visits, which had been of no infrequent occurrence in the days of monastic hospitality, continued; and while the lordly pile passed through the hands of various owners, Elizabeth, Charles I., and Charles II. paid visits on various occasions.

A century ago, when appreciation of the architecture of the dead centuries when Englishmen built with superlative skill had ebbed to its lowest, the Abbey had sunk to inconceivably debased uses. The monastic kitchen had been converted into a public-house, and the great gateway - the finest structural relic of the Abbey - had become the entrance to a brewery, while cock-fighting took place in the state bedroom above. The pilgrims' guest hall, now the college dining-hall, had become a dancing-hall, and the ground, unoccupied by buildings, soil hallowed by the memories of so many saintly lives and associated with the momentous days when England was being released from the toils of pagan ignorance became known as "the Old Palace Tea-gardens." The popular mind had seemingly forgotten the original uses of the place they were desecrating with fireworks and variety shows.

At last, in 1844, Mr. Beresford Hope rescued the half-destroyed remnants of the abbey-palace, and through his generosity the present missionary college was founded, and the buildings restored or reconstructed. A more happy idea could scarcely have been suggested than that of associating the abbey founded by the first missionary of Christianity to England with modern efforts to carry the light into the dark places of the earth. The much-restored gateway, built by Abbot Fyndon at the beginning of the fourteenth century, the guest-hall, and part of the memorial chapel, are the chief portions of the old structures incorporated into the buildings that surround three sides of the college quadrangle. Standing apart to the south is one of the huge walls of the nave of the abbey church, and to the east are the extensive excavations of the east end of the crypt and other fascinatingly early remains of the historic churches mentioned in an earlier chapter (p. 17).

Leaving the Abbey grounds, and continuing to the east, one reaches in a few minutes the little church of St. Martin set on the knoll to which Queen Bertha directed her steps. It is, however, a disappointingly familiar type of Early English village church to the casual glance, and until the fabric and the remarkable font have been examined and discussed in the light of modern scientific archaeology it is difficult to appreciate the hoary antiquity of at least parts of the structure. To understand the indications of the Saxon, or possibly Roman, work in the fabric, and to know the reasons for considering the font a relic of Saxon times, it is scarcely possible to find a better instructor than Canon Routledge, whose little book is all one can desire.

When the Cathedral, the Abbey, and St. Martin's Church have been visited, it is too often thought that Canterbury has yielded up all her treasures, but this is an amazingly mistaken idea. There still remain to be seen the Castle, the walls, the old inns, the many interesting examples of early domestic architecture, the remains of the lesser religious houses and hospitals, a wonderful array of interesting churches, and the excellent museum. Of the Castle the great Norman keep, completed about 1125, still stands, having been allowed to remain because the walls were found to be too hard to easily destroy; but up to the time of writing the Corporation has not purchased the immense shell, and it therefore remains a storage place for the coal of the adjoining gasworks. The remains of the buildings of the Black, or Preaching, Friars, and those of the Grey Friars, who belonged to the rule of St. Francis, are on islands formed by the Stour, and are marked in nearly every plan of the town. The hospitals include that of St. John the Baptist in North Gate Street, Eastbridge Hospital in St. Peter Street, and the Poor Priests' Hospital near Stour Street. Outside the city, at Harbledown, is the interesting old Hospital of St. Nicholas, a home for lepers, who were separately housed.

Of the churches it would be easy to write a great deal, but there is merely space to point out that the only one lacking in interest is All Saints' in High Street. At St. Dunstan's the head of Sir Thomas More is preserved in a vault, but it is never possible to see it, and one must be content with the picturesque brick gateway of the Roper house in St. Dunstan's Street.