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!!]