Canterbury Cathedral

Preserving and improving a UNESCO World Heritage site.

In the early 2010s, the chapter of Canterbury Cathedral initiated a reflection on the future of the building and how to meet its needs, both in terms of preserving its heritage and welcoming visitors and devotees.

Artelia has been working with this institution since the preliminary studies and has actively contributed to the design and implementation of a programme that meets its expectations: “The Canterbury Journey”.


With its 1,400 years of history, Canterbury Cathedral is one of the best-known Christian buildings in the United Kingdom and, beyond its borders, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is both a unique place of worship (heart of the Anglican Church, destination of numerous pilgrimages) and a masterpiece of art and architecture in the Norman style, one of the most visited sites in the country. The Canterbury Journey renovation programme was designed around these multiple functions and expectations, which are not always easy to reconcile. The aim was to protect and save the cathedral and its heritage for future generations, and to enhance the visitor experience.

Artelia was fully involved in the project from the development stage, which led to the project being awarded a £13.8 million grant. Our teams then supported the Canterbury Chapter until the works were completed. The work involved restoring the west towers, the nave roof, Christ Church Gate and landscaping in the south enclosure. A new visitor centre and shop have been created, along with an open-access gallery. A community space has also been built to house worship activities and events. New interpretation trails, exhibitions, online resources and a multimedia guide now provide much easier access to the cathedral’s historical treasures.