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The City Gates As They Appeared Before They Were Torn Down

June 3, 2014
by the gentle author

Discovering the sixteenth century figures of Old King Lud & his sons recently, that once stood upon Ludgate yet are now forgotten in an alley of Fleet St, made me think more closely of the gates that once surrounded the City of London.

So I was delighted to come upon this eighteenth century print in the Spitalfields Market for a couple of pounds with the plangent title “The City Gates As They Appeared Before They Were Torn Down.”

Printed in 1775, this plate recorded venerable edifices that had been demolished in recent decades and was reproduced in Harrison’s History of London, a publication notable for featuring Death and an Hourglass upon the title page as if to emphasise the mutable, ever-changing nature of the capital and the brief nature of our residence in it.

Moorgate (demolished 1761)

Aldgate (demolished 1761)

Bishopsgate (demolished 1760)

Cripplegate (demolished 1760)

Ludgate (demolished 1760)

Newgate (demolished 1767)

Aldersgate (demolished 1617)

Bridgegate (demolished 1762)

The City Gates As They Appeared Before They Were Torn Down, engraved for Harrison’s History of London 1775

Sixteenth century figures of King Lud and his sons that formerly stood upon Ludgate, and stowed ever since in an alley at the side of St Dunstan in the West, Fleet St

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The Gates of Old London

9 Responses leave one →
  1. June 3, 2014

    Wonderful prints! Thanks for sharing! Valerie

  2. Greg Tingey permalink
    June 3, 2014

    Most demolished during (near the nd of) the Seven Years War, I notice.
    Interesting.

  3. June 3, 2014

    I was very surprised to see how diverse in style these gates were. Some had obviously been rebuilt not too long before demolition, while others look medieval. I’d love to have these on a poster!

  4. Peter Holford permalink
    June 3, 2014

    I was surprised to see that most of the gates were not especially old when they were torn down. They must have been rebuilt after medieval fortifications were made redundant by artillery. So were they still used for control of goods and people into the City? A very interesting archive.

  5. Robert G. Redford permalink
    June 3, 2014

    Yet another fabulously interesting read. I so look forward to reading these every morning ; they make my day

  6. Sarah C permalink
    June 3, 2014

    What a great find.

  7. Gary Arber permalink
    June 3, 2014

    You got your money’s worth with that purchase.
    thanks,
    Gary

  8. June 4, 2014

    So, so interesting. It had never occurred to me the relationship between the gates of the city and the tube stations. Thank you.

  9. Nancy Clark permalink
    June 7, 2014

    Were these gates linked to any of the toll gate system at that time? Beautiful print, thank you so much for sharing.

    It still never fails to amaze me that the Temple Bar is by St Pauls now. Looking forward to the rebuilding and re-instillment of the Euston station entrance from old – rediscovered parts in the Fleet river during Olympic work….

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