In a new bid to attract sightseers, Canterbury Cathedral has recently launched a new free entry scheme.
The Free Precincts Trial will allow visitors to tour its historic grounds for free.
This change is one of many made by the new Dean of Canterbury, who also introduced a policy to allow dogs inside the building.
The trial will run from Monday, 29 January, to Sunday, 10 March 2024.
Visitors will only have access to limited areas of the landmark, including the Memorial Garden, the Dark Entry and the Green Court.
The Dean of Canterbury, the Very Revd David Monteith, said: “We’re really excited to offer this Free Precincts Trial when the gates will open, and visitors will be able to enjoy the beauty and wonder of Canterbury Cathedral Precincts.”
“We hope as many people as possible use this trial and hope it helps us learn from each other how together we can cherish this amazing place, be good stewards, and still balance the books,” he added.
Founded by St Augustine in 597, Canterbury Cathedral is England’s oldest and remains a unique place of worship in the United Kingdom.
During the trial, charges of £17 will remain to visit specific areas, which includes access to the Cathedral building and the northern side of the precincts, such as the Cloisters, Herb Garden and Chapter House, during standard sightseeing hours.
As with all Cathedrals, it will remain free for worship, prayer, and services.
It costs nearly £30,000 per day to keep Canterbury Cathedral open to the public, receiving only little funding from the Government or the Church of England.
The trial will test the feasibility of balancing free access to large parts of the Cathedral estate while covering substantial costs to maintain the landmark.
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