St Augustine's Abbey

School Visits

An outstanding landmark in England's history, St Augustine's Abbey was founded in AD 598 by St Augustine himself. It marked the start of the rebirth of Christianity in southern England and is part of the Canterbury World Heritage Site along with the cathedral and St Martin's Church. The site functioned as a monastery until it was suppressed in 1538, becoming a royal palace and then a Stuart garden. Today, the ruins are an atmospheric testament to the unique history of the site.

Curriculum links

Support your teaching in the classroom by stepping out of it. A visit to St Augustine's Abbey will help you bring learning to life, covering multiple topics across the curriculum and key stages.

  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places in the locality
  • KS2 History: A local history study. Britain's Settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots, Christian conversion. Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor. A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS2 Religious Studies: Religion in daily life. Why an abbey was built on the site and who lived there
  • KS3 History: A local history study. The development of church, state and society in Medieval Britain 1066-1509 and in Britain 1509-1745. A study of an aspect or theme in British history that consolidates and extends pupils’ chronological knowledge from before 1066

Free Self-led Visits

Book a free self-led visit to St Augustine's Abbey and organise your day to suit your curriculum objectives. Explore the extensive abbey ruins, including the excavated remains of England’s oldest churches, and spot the features of the Norman cathedral-sized church. Visit the museum to discover the story of the site, from the first Christian Anglo-Saxon king and first Anglo-Saxon monastery in England, to Norman updates, the suppression of the monasteries and a Stuart garden. 

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Plan your trip

We have a wide range of materials to support your visit and make school trip planning easy. You can find all our site-specific information and tools below, and further information on our what to expect page.

Download our free resources to help you make the most out of your visit and create unique learning experiences before, during and after your trip. We also offer free planning visits once you have made a booking, plus a 20% discount on the official English Heritage guidebook for your place of choice.

Once you book your visit you’ll be sent a visit permit, which you’ll need to bring with you on the day.

Visit our bookings page to start planning your trip!

  • Facilities
    • PARKING: There is no parking on site. The nearest car park (charged) is just opposite on the Longport road. It is not managed by English Heritage.
    • TOILETS: Male, female and disabled toilets are situated inside the museum.
    • FOOD AND DRINK: You are welcome to bring a picnic to eat in the grounds. There are benches throughout the Abbey ruins as well as seating and tables outside the museum building.
    • SHOP: There is a gift shop selling a range of English Heritage gifts and books, plus a selection of light refreshments. We recommend bringing your students in small groups at a time.
    • MUSEUM: The museum contains artefacts and stone carvings found at the Abbey during excavations. There is a range of objects covering many centuries and a short video which gives brief details of the different phases of building on the site accompanied by reconstructions.
    • AUDIO GUIDE: Audio guide is available as a QR code download to a smartphone.
    • ACCESSIBILITY: There are disabled parking spaces available on the Longport road opposite the site. Visitors can be set down on the pavement next to the entrance. No special arrangements are required. Most of the site and building is accessible by wheelchair. Manual wheelchair users are advised to bring an assistant, and may need to be able to leave the wheelchair briefly. Please call site if you need further information. There are stairs down into the crypt, in the cloister and the Campanile mound. There are no ramps or lift access.
  • Hazard Information

    A useful tool to help with your risk assessments. 


    You must meet the following ratios for leaders to students on the day of your visit when booking, and if your group is forming smaller groups while at the site:

    • Ages 4-5 (UK Reception) 1 leader for every 4 students (1:4)
    • Ages 5-7 (UK Key Stage 1) 1 leader for every 6 students (1:6)
    • Ages 7-11 (UK Key Stage 2) 1 leader for every 10 students (1:10) and
    • Ages 11-18 (UK Key Stages 3, 4, and 5) 1 leader for every 15 students (1:15)
    • For an adult learning group, consisting of individuals all over the age of 18, there are no ratios but there must be an appointed group leader
    • All ratios outlined above apply to home education groups
    • If your group consists of children aged 3 and/or 4, you must also refer to the Early Years and Foundation Stage Statutory Framework which sets out specific legal requirements for minimum ratios for this age group, to include requirements about the qualifications of the leaders
    • SEND groups must meet the minimum ratios above but may bring any additional leaders as required to adequately support their group
  • Education Site Opening Times

    We offer free self-led education visits during school term time*.

    *Free education visits are not offered on UK public holidays or during the operation of additional fee paying public events at English Heritage sites.

    • April-October: Monday-Sunday 10-5pm
    • 1 November-5 November: Monday-Sunday 10-4pm
    • 6 November-28 March: Saturday-Sunday 10-4pm

Learning Resources

  • Teaching Anglo-Saxons and Normans

    Use historical information, learning activities and tips from our historians, curators and educational experts to support your teaching of the Anglo-Saxons and Normans.

  • Teaching Medieval History

    Use historical information, learning activities and tips from our historians, curators and educational experts to support your teaching of medieval history.

  • A Mini Guide to Medieval Monks

    Find out more about different medieval monastic orders with our short animation.

  • Painting Our Past: The African Diaspora in England Learning Pack (KS1-KS4+)

    Use our learning pack to explore a series of portraits commissioned by English Heritage depicting six historic figures from the African diaspora whose stories have contributed to England’s rich history.