Dumbfounded Reader,

Allow me to cure your confusion with a little more blogging on some gates.

C R I P P L E G A T E

The final gate I shall touch upon in my list of Roman gates is Cripplegate, which in my opinion must have been the oldest gate to survive in modern times – originating as part of the defences of the original Roman fort at London a little after AD100. Being quite distant from the heart of Saxon London, the gate appears to have had a quiet Saxon history.

It was supposedly the site of a miracle in 1010, when Bury St. Edmunds was under threat of being sacked by the Danes and the body of the saint for which that town is named was transferred to London for reburial. When passing through Cripplegate many sick people were apparently cured, and the gate itself was renowned for being a blessed place where sick people could go to be cured. The origin of the name though doesn’t appear to stem from this occurrence, but instead possibly derives from the Saxon name Crepelgate, meaning a covered entrance or pathway. The Brewers Company of London paid for it to be rebuilt in 1244. It was rebuilt again in 1491 after money was bequeathed for the purpose by Edmund Shaw, a goldsmith.

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Blimey I’ve uploaded that more wonky than I realised

Similar to other gates, its medieval purpose was often that of a prison, but occasionally was set aside as a residence or for other official purposes.

It survived the great fire of 1666 and the structure was improved in 1663 – when a foot gate was added – and apparently again in 1675, although what these second improvements were I cannot find. At this time the City Water Bailiff had use of the structure for his own residence.

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It survived another century, before meeting the same fate as the other gates of the city in 1760.

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