1011, or earlier

Postcard from a set of 'Ancient gates of Canterbury', and a drawing.

Notes - taken from William Urry's account (1948):

This Gate is mentioned in 1011 in the Chronicle of Osbern, monk of Christchurch, where he describes the great attack on Canterbury by the Danes.

When they had put the City to sack, he says, and had captured Archbishop Alphage, they pushed and pulled him along to Northgate where the few surviving citizens were crowded together in bonds. Northgate had a church on top of it; there is a well drawn little picture of church and gate in the plan of the Cathedral Precincts in the Canterbury Psalter at Trinity College, Cambridge, (about 1160).

It is difficult to trace much of the history of the gate. It was incorporated in an ecclesiastical building and the expense of its repair did not fall on the City purse; consequently it does not make much appearance in the City accounts. By the end of the eighteenth century it had developed into a double opening, a carriageway and footway, separated by a line of pillars. The eastern end of the church over the road was swept away at the beginning of the last century. A hermit lived in a cell built into the gate at one period.

The house just within Northgate, Mr. Lane's shop, is probably one of a group mentioned in Domesday Book as dependent on the Manor of Westgate. [I think this is still standing and will investigate!!]

Copyright Stephen Bax 2000. Click here for terms of use.