• Breeders of english roses
  • Winners of 23 chelsea flower show gold medals
  • 5 Year Guarantee

Thomas à Becket

English Rose - bred by David Austin

Shrub Rose

Fragrant, informal rosettes combine with natural, shrubby growth
Light red, informal rosettes. Old Rose fragrance. Natural, shrubby growth. Particularly reliable and healthy. Very quick repeating.
  • Good for disease resistance
  • Repeat Flowering
  • Highly Fragrant
  • Highly Recommended by David Austin
  • Bred by David Austin

Delivery information

Standard delivery £3.95

Next or nominated working day £5.95

Saturday delivery £20.00

Find out more about delivery

We offer a 5 year guarantee

We aim to supply roses of the highest quality. However, with living plants problems occasionally arise. If any roses are damaged on receipt, or if they fail to grow within 5 years, we will replace them free of charge. For more details about our guarantee, please contact our customer service team on 01902 376300.

Rose characteristics

  • Rose Type English Rose - bred by David Austin
  • Growth Type Shrub Rose
  • Colour Crimson
  • Fragrance Strength Strong
  • Flowering Repeat Flowering
  • Disease Resistance Excellent
  • Height 4ft
  • Width 3ft
  • Breeder David Austin
  • Year of Introduction 2013
  • Appellation Auswinston
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Looking for help?

At David Austin Roses we’re committed to helping you through every stage of growing roses – from selecting the right variety to giving your rose the care it needs to thrive. If you’re ready to buy or need more help, talk to one of our friendly rose experts. 

Roses are easy to care for

  • Water roses until well established Water until well established
  • Prune roses once in winter Prune once in the winter
  • Feed roses twice Feed twice, once in spring and once in summer

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you’ll find answers to the questions we’ve been asked many times in the past. If your question isn’t covered visit our dedicated FAQ’s page or contact one of our helpful rose experts.

What should I do if I’ve received my bare root roses but I’m not ready to plant?

If less than 2 weeks delay…

Store in a dry, frost-free, cool place such as your garden shed or garage. Bare root plants will keep for up to two weeks tightly sealed in the paper sack and polythene bag without a problem. You may see new growth, particularly for orders delivered in March or later - this is a good sign.

If more than 2 weeks delay…

If you are expecting a longer delay before planting it is worth considering healing in your plants. To do this, simply remove your plants from their paper sack and polythene bag, leave in their bundle tied together and dig a hole large enough to take the roots of your plant. Replace the soil to cover the roots. Water if conditions are going to be dry.

What should I do if I’ve received my potted roses but I’m not ready to plant?

We recommend planting potted roses as soon as possible. However, if you are unable to plant immediately, roses can be kept in their pots quite happily for two months or more, as long as they are watered appropriately. The amount of watering required will depend on the time of year. See table below:


Watering requirements


Water once a week




Water every day, except from on days of heavy rain






Water twice a week, unless weather is unreasonably warm or dry



Water once a week


When’s the best time to plant roses?

Aside from times of extreme weather, roses can be planted at any time during the year. The extreme weather conditions that we advise against planting in are when the ground is frozen, water-logged or during a drought. Often people ask, ‘when is the best time to plant’, but as long as you avoid the conditions mentioned, there really is no one best time to plant.

How do I plant a rose in a large pot / what compost do I use?

Size of pot

For best results, your pot should be at least 16” (40cm) deep and 16” (40cm) across. It is surprising how much difference a larger pot will make to the performance of your rose. As the growth of your rose is determined to a large extent by the size of the root, we always recommend as large a pot as possible. A larger pot will also retain moisture for longer, which is key to a healthy vigorous plant.

Which compost?

For the best results, we recommend a good quality peat based compost preferably with a slow release fertiliser, such as John Innes No. 3.

How to plant

Step 1: Place small stones to cover the base of your pot to about 2” (5cm) to aid drainage.
Step 2: Hold your plant in the pot and see where the roots reach down to. You will want to cover all of the roots with compost.
Step 3: Remove the rose and fill with compost to this level.
Step 5: Place the plant back in the centre of the pot and add compost around the plant covering the roots. Aim to have the top of the roots about two inches below the top of your pot.
Step 6: Water well with about 5 litres of water.

Take a closer look

Take a closer look

Detailed Description

This is a variety of very different character from the general run of English Roses, being rather closer to the Species Roses than to the Old Roses and more natural and shrubby in growth. The individual flowers can best be described as shallowly cupped, opening as informal rosettes; the petals quickly reflexing as the flowers age. They are held in medium-sized heads; the individual blooms nodding attractively on the stem. They have an Old Rose fragrance with a strong lemon zest character. The colour is difficult to describe or even photograph: the best we can say is an attractive light red paling to carmine red.

Growth Habit

‘Thomas à Becket’ is a particularly strong and healthy variety. It is best used where an informal shrub is required. Depending on how it is pruned, it may grow taller.

Origins of the name

We were asked to name this rose for Canterbury Cathedral and were very pleased to do so.

A Lifetime of Breeding Excellence

A Lifetime of Breeding Excellence

In the early 1950s David Austin set out to create a more beautiful rose. Sixty years on, this simple objective remains.

From a hobby breeder as a young teenager David Austin has gone on to breed a collection of roses renowned across the world.

  • Darcey Bussell

    Darcey Bussell

    English Rose - bred by David Austin
    Shrub Rose


  • Gertrude Jekyll

    Gertrude Jekyll

    English Rose - bred by David Austin
    Shrub Rose


  • Jubilee Celebration

    Jubilee Celebration

    English Rose - bred by David Austin
    Shrub Rose


  • Munstead Wood

    Munstead Wood

    English Rose - bred by David Austin
    Shrub Rose