Archbishop’s chair or cathedra

This large stone seat, also known as the cathedra, is referred to  as Saint Augustine’s chair, but clearly does not date to the time of St Augustine.  It may well have been constructed at the time the body of Becket was moved to the Trinity chapel in 1220, replacing an earlier chair damaged in the fire of 1174.  It now stands behind the high altar, having stood in the corona between 1825 and 1977.  This seat is used for all enthronements of archbishops of Canterbury, but the throne in the choir is used whenever the primate sits as a bishop.  There is no public access to the area of the chair, but it can be seen from the choir (Image 1 above) and from the Trinity chapel (Image 2).

What to see:

  • a large chair of Purbeck marble
  • possibly the oldest English seat in current use

Sources:  standard cathedral sources