Fyndon's Gate, Lady Wootton's Green

(Page 2 - historical views)

The original Great Gate to St Augustine's Abbey
(Click here to go to the main page of Fyndon's gate with modern photos)
(Click here to see old photos and prints of Lady Wooton's Green)

Rebuilt by Abbot Fyndon between 1301 and 1309

Notes: This description is taken from Townsend's wonderful guidebook to Canterbury published in 1950. (See details in the bibliography.)

"The Cemetery Gate [along the street] has a staid but charming dignity; the Great Gate a rich swagger about it ....

Above its deep-set door is an upper storey panelled with a band of elegant tracery and niches carried outwards across both the angle towers.

The towers rise so high above the battlements of the gatehouse that they would look topheavy were they not tied down by this belt of enrichment and by the sweep of dark shadow lying against the door in the depth of the arch.

Until 1942 a garden, a few trees, a double line of some of the pleasantest houses in the town, the wide space of the moat and the high curtain of the city wall facing this gateway all made a pretty forecourt to the abbey.

All but one of the houses, [I suppose he means no. 1 Lady Wootton's Green] which were full of stones and flints rifled from the monastery buildings, have disappeared, but the bomb damage to the gateway itself has been made good." (Townsend 1950:16)

Old views of Fyndon's gate and Lady Wootton's Green.
Notice the people sitting in the garden above

Above: The Gate and garden again, but notice also the row of old houses on the left which were destroyed in the war.

Above: The view FROM the gate, across Lady Wootton's Green to the cathedral.
The houses on the left were destroyed in the war. (See photo of the destruction)
Picture (above) of the State Chamber or the Queen's Bedchamber in the upper storey of the Gate, which is where Charles I and his wife Henrietta of France are supposed to have stayed in 1625. See the coat of arms to celebrate their visit in 17 Palace Street.


Copyright Stephen Bax 1999-2003. Click here for terms of use.