Fandom

Military

Gatehouse

205,253pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Comments0 Share

Question book-new

This article does not contain any citations or references. Please improve this article by adding a reference. For information about how to add references, see Template:Citation.

Pergamon Museum Berlin 2007110

Gatehouse reconstruction from ancient Babylon

Micklegate Bar

The southern entrance to York, Micklegate Bar

Whitworthhall

The entrance to the University of Manchester, built in 1902

Gate Glenarm Castle County Antrim

Barbican gate of Glenarm Castle, Co. Antrim

A gatehouse, in architectural terminology, is a building enclosing or accompanying a gateway for a castle, manor house, fort, town or similar buildings of importance.

Thornton Abbey Gatehouse1

The gatehouse of Thornton Abbey from the outside

Thornton Abbey Gatehouse

Gatehouse of Thornton Abbey from the inside

Puertadelsol toledo

Puerta del Sol Moorish gateway from Toledo, Spain

HistoryEdit

Gatehouses made their first appearance in the early antiquity when it became necessary to protect the main entrance to a castle or town. Over time, they evolved into very complicated structures with many lines of defence. Strongly fortified gatehouses would normally include a drawbridge, one or more portcullises, machicolations, arrow loops and possibly even murder-holes where stones would be dropped on attackers. In some castles, the gatehouse was so strongly fortified it took on the function of a keep, sometimes referred to as a "gate keep". Examples of such gate keeps can be found at Bodiam Castle and Beaumaris Castle. In the late Middle Ages, some of these arrow loops might have been converted into gun loops (or gun ports).

Sometimes gatehouses formed part of town fortifications, perhaps defending the passage of a bridge across a river or a moat, as Monnow Bridge in Monmouth. York has four important gatehouses, known as "Bars", in its city walls. One such is Micklegate Bar.

The French term for gatehouse is logis-porche. This could be a large, complex structure that served both as a gateway and lodging or it could have been composed of a gateway through an enclosing wall. A very large gatehouse might be called a châtelet (small castle).

At the end of the Middle Ages, many gatehouses in England and France were converted into beautiful, grand entrance structures to manor houses or estates. Many of them became a separate feature free-standing or attached to the manor or mansion only by an enclosing wall. By this time the gatehouse had lost its defensive purpose and had become more of a monumental structure designed to harmonise with the manor or mansion.

On the continent of Europe, there are numerous examples of surviving gatehouses in France, Austria and Germany.

EnglandEdit

  • Ightham Mote, in Kent has an imposing 13th and 14th century gatehouse.
  • Durham Castle, in Durham has an 11th century gatehouse that is now used as accommodation for students attending University College, Durham.
  • Stokesay Castle, a 13th century fortified manor house in Shropshire has a Jacobean half-timbered gatehouse.
  • Stanway House, Stanway, Gloucestershire, where the gatehouse measures 44 ft. by 22 ft. and has three storeys.
  • Westwood House, Worcestershire, which has a frontage of 54 ft. with two storeys.
  • Burton Agnes Hall, East Riding of Yorkshire, which has three storeys and is flanked by great octagonal towers at the angles.
  • Hylton Castle, Hylton, Sunderland, although it is an actual castle, it is styled in the shape of a classical gatehouse (this is due to the castle being built for comfort as opposed to a castle for defence).

FranceEdit

United StatesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911) Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.) Cambridge University Press 

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.