Picture
London Bridge
The traditional number of gates into the City of London is seven but there were actually twenty five of them altogether. There were seven gates in the London Wall and they were Aldgate, Aldersgate, Bishopsgate, Cripplegate, Ludgate, Moorgate, and Newgate. But there were also Watergates, gates that were on or beside the River Thames and quays, where traders unloaded their goods from ships, were also regarded as gates.

Water-gates included Blackfriars Stairs, Puddle Wharf, Paul’s Wharf, Broken Wharf, Customer’s Quay, Queenhithe, Billingsgate, Dowgate, Wolf’s Gate, Ebgate, Botolph’s Gate and Oyster Gate which was right next to the old London Bridge. Bridge Gate was actually on London Bridge. There was also Tower Gate which was the Postern Gate of the Tower of London and its remains were excavated by archaeologists from the Museum of London in 1979. You can go and see what is left of it if you want to today.

These gates were the traditional entrances to the City of London and within which the Corporation of London had its original authority but the Corporation’s jurisdiction was extended outside the walls from the year 1223 and the new boundary was marked by Bars, or toll-gates, where non-Londoners would have to pay a penny to be allowed into the City.

There were four London Bars and they were Temple Bar, Holborn Bar, Smithfield Bar and Whitechapel Bar. So, if you add up the gates in the wall and the water-gates and the bars you get twenty five. But Smithfield Market, just outside the Newgate, had eight gates of its own. And further out there is Highgate, Southgate, Notting Hill Gate, New Cross Gate, Forest Gate and there are probably a lot more. London, as you can see, was obsessed with gates.


 


Comments




Leave a Reply