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HER Number:MSH39
Type of Record:Monument
Name:Town Defences - the former East Gate
Grid Reference:SU 4215 1153
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Summary

East Gate (or Eastgate) was situated on East Street, one of the two main roads out of Southampton in the medieval period. East Street led to St Mary’s Church, the mother church of Southampton, which lay in the suburb outside the town defences. East Gate was demolished in 1774. Historical descriptions and 18th century illustrations suggest it was similar to the Bargate, although smaller and heavier in form. Like the Bargate, it was probably originally built as a simple, free-standing tower gatehouse in the late 12th century (between 1180 and 1200). At some stage in the following decades this was incorporated into the town defences, initially an earthen bank and ditch system. Two drum towers were probably added in the late 13th century (between 1260 and 1290). Probably in the early 15th century, artillery defence facilities were added: the gate was extended to the east between the drum towers, the new work incorporating machicolations, and a roof top gun platform with wide embrasures was created. There was a bridge over the town ditches in front of the gate. By 1348 there was a chapel in the room over the gate, dedicated to St Mary. In the defence terrier of 1454, the maintenance of most of the loops in East Gate was assigned to the St Mary’s Church. In 1641 the chapel was leased with a tenement and garden close by; for many years it had been used as a warehouse. The late 18th century illustrations show a roof and chimney.

Protected Status: None recorded

Other Statuses/Codes: None Recorded

Monument Types

  • GATE TOWER (Built, Medieval - 1180 AD? to 1200 AD? (between))
  • GATE TOWER (In use, Medieval to Post Medieval - 1180 AD? to 1774 AD (throughout))
  • TOWN GATE (Built, Medieval - 1180 AD? to 1200 AD? (between))
  • TOWN GATE (In use, Medieval to Post Medieval - 1180 AD? to 1774 AD (throughout))
  • GATE TOWER (altered/rebuilt, Medieval - 1260 AD to 1291 AD (between))
  • TOWN GATE (altered/rebuilt, Medieval - 1260 AD to 1291 AD (between))
  • CHAPEL (First mentioned, Medieval - 1348 AD to 1348 AD (in that year))
  • ARTILLERY TOWER (Altered, Medieval - 1377 AD to 1450 AD (between))
  • GATE TOWER (Altered, Medieval - 1377 AD to 1450 AD (between))
  • TOWN GATE (Altered, Medieval - 1377 AD to 1450 AD (between))
  • ARTILLERY TOWER (Demolished, Post Medieval - 1774 AD to 1774 AD (in that year))
  • GATE TOWER (Demolished, Post Medieval - 1774 AD to 1774 AD (in that year))
  • TOWN GATE (Demolished, Post Medieval - 1774 AD to 1774 AD (in that year))

Full description

Records for the town defences are currently being enhanced and it is intended that further details will be added to this description at a later date. (SCC HER 4/12/09)

Sources / Further Reading

---SSH3145 - Unpublished document: Ancient Monument File AM9 - East Gate.
---SSH4242 - Bibliographic reference: Francis Grose. 1773. The antiquities of England and Wales, Volume 2. p222 (picture & text)
---SSH591 - Serial: Morton, AD (ed), SCC. 1995. Archaeological Investigations in Southampton for 1994. p22

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events: None recorded

Related records

MSH14Child of: Town Defences - town wall, towers and gates

Associated Links: None recorded

If you have any feedback or new information about this record, please email the Southampton HER (her@southampton.gov.uk).