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HHER Number:14072
UAD Mon No.:72
Type of record:Building
Name:MEDIEVAL GREAT GATE, ST ALBANS ABBEY, ST ALBANS

Summary

Abbey Gatehouse, built in the 1360s to intimidate the townsfolk

Images

No image caption available  © Hertfordshire County Council

No image caption available © Hertfordshire County Council

Map:Show location on Streetmap

Monument Types

  • GATEHOUSE (built 1362-65, Medieval - 1362 AD to 1365 AD)

Associated Events

  • Observations in the Abbey Gatehouse, St Albans, 1870
  • Fowler's survey of the medieval Abbey Precinct, St Albans, 1875-6
  • Recording of the Abbey Gatehouse, St Albans, 1928

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Ancient Monument HT96: ST ALBANS ABBEY, SITE OF CONVENTUAL BUILDINGS
  • Scheduled Ancient Monument 35:16530
  • Scheduled Ancient Monument HT35: ST ALBANS ABBEY GATEHOUSE
  • Listed Building (I) 163388: THE ABBEY GATE

Full description

The Great Gate at the abbey was built, apparently in the 1360s, by abbot Thomas de la Mare, to replace an earlier building in a different position. It was put up on the site of an almonry, with some reuse of earlier material <1, 4>.
From 1553 it was used as a prison. During conversion of the Gate in 1870 from gaol into premises for the abbey school, an underground chamber in the NE quadrant was broken into, and was assumed to be a dungeon <3, 5, 6>. Other 'dungeons' were assumed, but from the description it may be more likely that this chamber was a cesspit. There is no direct access to the chamber, which is apparently intact. The almonry which stood on the site before the Gate was built is known to have had a cellar.
The foundations of a N turret have been seen outside the eastern half of the gate <2>.


Hooper, S, 1787, Gate of St Albans Abbey, Hertfordshire (Graphic material). SHT7842.


<1> Niblett, Rosalind, & Thompson, Isobel, 2005, Alban's buried towns: an assessment of St Albans' archaeology up to AD 1600, - p254-5 (Bibliographic reference). SHT9124.


<2> Watkinson, P F, 1967, The Abbey gateway (Unpublished document). SHT17399.


<3> Chapple, John, 1882, A short history of the abbey church of Saint Alban, - p20 (Monograph). SHT17303.


<4> RCHME, 1982, A guide to Saint Albans Cathedral; 2nd edition, - p31-2 (Bibliographic reference). SHT3938.


<5> Ashdown, Charles H, 1893, St Albans historical & picturesque, with an account of the Roman city of Verulamium, - p145 (Bibliographic reference). SHT3836.


<6> Ashdown, Charles Henry, 1903-4, The great gateway of St Alban's monastery;Trans St Albans & Herts Archit & Archaeol Soc vol. 2/1, p88-104 (Article in serial). SHT17279.


<7> Fox, Cyril F, 1928, The old monastery gatehouse, St Albans. Plans, sections, and elevations measured and drawn (Graphic material). SHT17332.

Sources and further reading

---Graphic material: Hooper, S. 1787. Gate of St Albans Abbey, Hertfordshire.
<1>Bibliographic reference: Niblett, Rosalind, & Thompson, Isobel. 2005. Alban's buried towns: an assessment of St Albans' archaeology up to AD 1600. - p254-5.
<2>Unpublished document: Watkinson, P F. 1967. The Abbey gateway.
<3>Monograph: Chapple, John. 1882. A short history of the abbey church of Saint Alban. - p20.
<4>Bibliographic reference: RCHME. 1982. A guide to Saint Albans Cathedral; 2nd edition. - p31-2.
<5>Bibliographic reference: Ashdown, Charles H. 1893. St Albans historical & picturesque, with an account of the Roman city of Verulamium. - p145.
<6>Article in serial: Ashdown, Charles Henry. 1903-4. The great gateway of St Alban's monastery;Trans St Albans & Herts Archit & Archaeol Soc vol. 2/1, p88-104.
<7>Graphic material: Fox, Cyril F. 1928. The old monastery gatehouse, St Albans. Plans, sections, and elevations measured and drawn.