Eastern Nave

The Nave looking west towards the Great West Window. Photo by Jules & Jenny from Lincoln, UK. CC BY 2.0

Western Nave

<q>Fire Watchers Memorial</q><br><q>Great West Window</q>

Eastern Nave

<q>Pulpit </q><br><q>Altar</q><br><q>Compass Rose</q>

Western Crypt (South Aisle)

<q>Huguenot Chapel</q><br><q>Our Lady Undercroft</q><br><q>St Gabriel Chapel</q>

Eastern Crypt

<q>Watching Chamber</q><br><q>"Transport"</q><br><q>Jesus Chapel</q>

Western Crypt (North Aisle)

<q>Ch. of Holy Innocents</q><br><q>St Nicholas Ch.</q><br><q>St Mary Magdalene Ch.</q>


<q>Altar of the Sword Point</q><br><q>The Deans' Chapel</q>

Pulpitum Steps

<q>Royal Window</q><br><q>Bell Harry</q><br><q>Great South Window</q>


<q>Parclose Screen</q><br><q>Archbishop's Throne</q><br><q>St Augustine's Chair</q>

North Choir Aisle

<q>Chichele Tomb</q><br><q>Bible Windows</q><br><q>Northeast Transept</q>

Trinity Chapel North

<q>Opus Alexandrinum</q><br><q>Miracle Windows</q><br><q>Henry IV Tomb</q><br><q>Becket Shrine</q>

Trinity Chapel South

<q>Corona Chapel</q><br><q>Black Prince</q><br><q>Miracle Windows</q>

South Choir Aisle

<q>St Anselm's Chapel</q><br><q>Bossanyi Windows</q><br><q>Southeast Transept</q>

Southwest Transept

<q>Stairs to the Crypt</q><br><q>Level access to Martyrdom</q><br><q>Exit</q>


<q>Heraldic shields</q><br><q>South, East, North & West panes</q><br><q>Cloister Garth</q>

Great Cloister

<q>Heraldic shields</q><br><q>South, East, North & West panes</q><br><q>Cloister Garth</q>

Chapter House

<q>Wagon Vault</q><br><q>Victorian stained glass</q>

 Hint. View the map ‘landscape’ on small screens.

MapA prominent feature at the eastern end of the Nave is the late-Victorian Pulpit. The area immediately in front of the altar, here enclosed on either side by wrought-iron work, is known as the Sanctuary and this is where you  will find the Compass Rose and the Altar of the Holy Cross.

What's here?

Orientation. As you approach from the western end of the Nave, the pulpit is to your left on the north side. The Sanctuary, with the Compass Rose and altar, is ahead of you, just in front of the steps leading up to the Pulpitum screen. 

The distinctive wooden pulpit was designed in 1898 by architect George Bodley. The pulpit, in perpendicular Gothic style, has carvings of the Crucifixion and the Annunciation around it, a canopy above, and two figures in cope and mitre on either side of the stairway. The figures represent the first Archbishop of Canterbury, St Augustine  (d. 604) and his mentor, Pope St Gregory I  (590-604). Known also as Gregory the Great, he instigated St Augustine’s mission to convert the Saxon kingdom of Kent to Christianity.

As on the Font, the Holy Ghost is represented by the figure of a small golden dove. The colours of the Pulpit serve as a reminder that the medieval Nave was vibrant with coloured painting and decoration.

On the floor of the sanctuary is the emblem of The Compass Rose, which signifies, by showing all points of the compass, that the Cathedral is the Mother Church of the Anglican Christian Faith throughout the World. This is where all the Anglican Bishops of the World gather at the time of each Lambeth Conference (held approximately every 10 years). The emblem bears a Greek inscription, which translates: “The Truth Shall Make You Free” – (John Ch. 8, v. 32). It was designed by Giles Blomfield of Truro and installed at the time of the Lambeth Conference in 1988. The first Lambeth Conference was held in 1867 and the most recent, in Canterbury, in July/August 2008. The next was due to be held in 2020, now postponed to 2022.

The Altar frontal is reversible, the front depicting All Seasons and the reverse Lent, portrayed by a Crown of Thorns. It was designed and worked by the Royal School of Needlework and was dedicated in 2006. The central motif of the All Seasons frontal is an adaptation of the Canterbury Cross in the form of the Compass Rose within a circlet of acanthus leaves, representing the NADFAS (National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts) sponsorship of the work, and surrounded by Greek lettering, repeating the motto: “The Truth Shall Make You Free”.

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Where next?

 Exit the Nave from the south aisle (right hand side) into the Southwest Transept. Follow the indicated route via the steps down into to the X Western Crypt.

 Alternatively, if you want to visit the Becket locations in chronological order, exit the Nave via the north aisle steps and turn left into the X Martyrdom. There is step free access to the Martyrdom from the Southwest Transept, via the crossing tunnel.