• Becket 2020 Tour

    Becket 2020 Tour

    2020 marks 850 years since Thomas Becket was brutally murdered on 29th December 1170 in Canterbury Cathedral and 800 years since his body was moved from a tomb in the crypt of the cathedral into a glittering shrine.

  • Becket 2020 Tour

    Becket 2020 Tour

    2020 marks 850 years since Thomas Becket was brutally murdered on 29th December 1170 in Canterbury Cathedral and 800 years since his body was moved from a tomb in the crypt of the cathedral into a glittering shrine.

  • Becket 2020 Tour

    Becket 2020 Tour

    2020 marks 850 years since Thomas Becket was brutally murdered on 29th December 1170 in Canterbury Cathedral and 800 years since his body was moved from a tomb in the crypt of the cathedral into a glittering shrine.

Becket 2020

Becket 2020 will be a series of events in 2020 commemorating the 850th anniversary of the murder of Thomas Becket by Henry II's knights in Canterbury Cathedral.

Talk to us about a bespoke group tour marking the life and death of Thomas Becket, including Canterbury, London and locations along the ancient Pilgrim's Way.

Highlights

  • Canterbury Cathedral, where Thomas Becket was murdered by Henry II's knights in 1170. See the Life of Becket stained glass window, the place of martyrdom where he was killed, the location of the original tomb in the crypt and the site of his shrine where his body was moved to in 1220. The Cathedal and Canterbury City Centre will be holding special services, events, talks and exhibitions throughout 2020 - more details to follow.
  • The Canterbury Tales: experience the sights, sounds and smells of medieval England as scenes from Chaucer's famous Tales are brought to life and follow the pilgrimage to Becket's shrine.
  • Saint Thomas Becket - World Celebrity Healer Exhibition at The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge: miracles after Becket's murder led to Europe-wide spread of relics and images. Explore this and Becket as a symbol of conflict between Church and state. 
  • London: see the memorial near Cheapside where Becket was born; Southwark Cathedral, where he appears on The Great Screen and where he stayed just weeks before his murder and the Tower of London with St Thomas' Tower, where Becket was Constable. Becket's ghost was said to have been the first spirit to haunt the Tower. Also Westminster Abbey, where Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine were crowned in 1154 and Temple Church, founded by the Knights Templar during Henry II's reign.
  • The British Museum will be holding a special Becket2020 Exhibition - more details to follow.
  • See where the Pilgrims started the London to Canterbury Pilgrimage, from London Bridge and Borough High Street: St Magnus the Martyr Church, which stands where people used to enter the City, with its model of Old London Bridge; the site of the Chapel of St Thomas a Becket in the centre of old London Bridge and St Thomas' Hospital. 
  • Dover Castle:  Henry II invested a lot of money developing Dover Castle, to counter the growing Becket cult in nearby Canterbury. See the King’s chamber and Royal Chapel dedicated to Becket.
  • Key locations on the London to Canterbury Pilgrim's Way, including Rochester Cathedral, England’s 2nd oldest cathedral where a Becket relic rested in 2016. Also beautiful Leeds Castle; Otford, with the Archbishop's Palace's ruins, rumoured to be Becket's 'favourite' place to stay and site of his Holy Well; Chilham, with its medieval Square and Church and Aylesford Priory, with stunning medieval buildings and peaceful walks. 
  • Ruins of Lesnes Abbey: the Abbey was built in 1178 by the Chief Justice of England, as penance for Becket's murder.
  • Winchester Cathedral and the Winchester to Canterbury Pilgrim's Way: Godmersham, with its 12th Century Church, home to the earliest known bas-relief carving of St Thomas a Becket; the ruins of the Archbishop’s Palace at Charing, one of Becket’s Palaces; ancient churches just outside Winchester.
  • Follow in King Henry II's footsteps and explore the Southampton to Canterbury Pilgrim's Way. Henry made his famous barefoot pilgrimage to Canterbury as penance for Becket's murder and ended up being whipped by the monks. Stops can include the St Thomas a Becket Church in Winchelsea; 1066 Battle of Hastings Abbey and Battlefield; the quaint medieval town of Rye; charming Lewes with the ruins of the Priory of St Pancras and St Michael and All Angels Church outside Canterbury.
  • St Thomas a Becket Church, Capel with the yew tree under which Becket is supposed to have preached.
  • St Thomas a Becket Church, Fairfield: legend has it that an Archbishop nearly drowned here. He prayed to St.Thomas for a miracle and a farmer saved him. In gratitude the Archbishop built the church and dedicated it to Becket. Explore other churches among the Lost Villages of Romney Marsh.
Becket's tomb

Photo credits:

Slideshow:  place of martyrdom, where Becket was killed in Canterbury Cathedral; Aylesford Priory; St Thomas a Becket Church in Fairfield.

Photos to the right of the tour: site of Becket's tomb in Canterbury Cathedral; King's Chamber at Dover Castle © English Heritage.

  • What a trip it was!! Absolutely fantastic. Our group enjoyed every moment.

Becket's tomb Dover Castle Make an enquiry