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BARBICAN LIFE


the City. Tradition has it that it was rebuilt in the 7th century by Eorconweald, Bishop of London. It was referred to as the “gate of the bishop” in the Doomsday Book of 1086. It was rebuilt again in 1471 by the Hansa Merchants and finally by the Corporation of London in 1731. It was demolished in 1760.


Artistic representations of the seven original City gates and Sir Christopher Wren designed Temple Bar


1423 there is a record of a tavern, “The Saracen’s Head within Algate”. In the year of Magna Carta, 1215, the barons entered the City through this gate to lay siege to The Tower of London. Geoffrey Chaucer leased a room above the gate between 1374 and 1385. Mary Tudor entered London through this gate in 1553 for the first time as Queen. It was rebuilt in 1606-9 when Roman coins were found in the original foundations. In 1761 it was demolished. The Oxford Dictionary of London Place Names states that the addition of a “d” to the spelling of the gate’s name only occurred in the 17th century and is historically incorrect. Bishop’s Gate was the northern Roman gate by which Ermine Street left


Moorgate was initially a postern gate in the City Wall which gave access to marsh land, or moor, to the north. It was built in 1415 by Thomas Falconer, a Mercer. In 1472 it was repaired and then rebuilt in 1672 to make the gateway higher so that militia could march through with their pikes upright. When it was demolished in 1762 the stones were used to shore up London Bridge and prevent it being washed away by the tide.


Cripplegate stood at the junction of what are now Wood Street and St Alphage Garden. The derivation of its name is disputed. Perhaps it comes from cripples begging at an entrance to the City; maybe it is derived from the Old English crypel-geat, a low gate in a wall which one had to creep through; or did the legend that cripples were miraculously cured when St Edmund the


Martyr’s body was brought though the gate in 1010 give rise to the name? The saint to whom the nearby church is dedicated, St Giles, is, of course, the patron saint of cripples. The Brewers’ Company rebuilt the gate in 1244. In the 14th century a room over the gate was used as a prison. In 1491 it was rebuilt again and in 1554 one of Wyatt’s rebels was hanged there. In 1558 Elizabeth I entered the City for the first time as Queen through Cripplegate. This gate was also demolished in 1760. Aldersgate was built by the Romans although a little later than the wall in order to replace a gate to the fort. Its Saxon name dates from about 1000AD and means “a gate associated with a man called Ealdred”. In 1335 the gate was covered in lead and a small house was built for the gatekeeper. The workshop of John Day the printer was in a room above the gate. The books he printed included The Folio Bible (1549), Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (1563) and Tyndale’s Works (1572). In 1603 James I entered the City for the first time as King through Aldersgate. It was rebuilt in 1617. In 1660 Samuel Pepys saw the limbs of traitors displayed on the gate. It was damaged by the Great Fire but


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