Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Dane John (Canterbury)

The Dane John is an enigmatic feature of the ancient cathedral city of Canterbury in Kent.

It is a conical mound, rising to 80 feet and now in the Dane John Gardens, which stands just inside the City Walls.

The mound was probably originally a burial mound from shortly before the Roman period. It is likely to be pre-Roman as the walls, on a Roman line, made a detour around it.

In the period immediately after the Norman Conquest, it was surmounted by the first Norman keep in the city, before the more permanent Canterbury Castle was built a short distance away.

The gardens were landscaped in the 18th century, at a time when public executions were still held there.

On the top of the Dane John, and reached by a spiral footpath, is a small memorial to Alderman Simmons, who paid for much of the landscaping, dated 1803.

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