both were reconstructed as part of a single extensive
remodelling of the defences.14 Any attempt at closer
dating must depend upon the character of the work itself. Canon
Livett suggested that the wall and corner-turret were built c.
1340,15 but this may be too early. The architecture
of the wall and of the corner-turret is not particularly
distinctive, but one feature of the design occurs regularly in
work of the last quarter of the fourteenth century, viz. the
plan of the tower, circular externally and polygonal within.
Dated examples of this feature include the West Gate at
Canterbury16 (1378); the gateway the the
inner ward at Saltwood Castle17 (1382); the
north-eastern tower of the inner ward at Cooling Castle18
(1381-2); the drum-tower of Bodiam Castle19 (1385).20
There was, in fact, a considerable amount of defensive building
in the south-east during the early years of Richard II's reign
in response to the danger of raids by the French,21
and it seems not unreasonable to attribute the rebuilding of the
East Gate and the adjoining wall, together with the additional
corner-turret, to this period also.
There is no documentary evidence as to the date of
the demolition of the East Gate. As mentioned above (see page
126) it was clearly still standing in 1588 but, by the time the
Mathematical School was built
in 1708,22 it had been
swept away, the ditch filled in and the road widened to cover
the site of its northern drum-tower. A date fairly late in the
seventeenth century seems most
probable because in
the title-deeds of no. 120 High Street, dated at the end of
that century,23 the bridge is mentioned as still in
it is argued that the defences in the south-eastern and southern
sections were put in
order at about the same time.
Arch. Cant., xxi
16 Arch. Journ.,
Arch. Cant xxiii
Arch. Cant., ii
ff. for documentary evidence, and Arch.
D, Simpson, Castles
Most of these examples are circular/hexagonal in plan,
but the Canterbury West Gate towers are octagonal internally
like the one under discussion.
Between the Earl of Pembroke's defeat at La
Rochelle in 1372
and the Earl of
Arundel's victory at Cadzand in 1387,
England virtually lost control of the
Channel. Bye and Gravesend were sacked in 1377,
and Winchelsea sacked and burnt in 1380.
The original conveyance describes the area of
purchased as 'garden ground'. The dimensions coincide exactly
with those of the Victorian
demolished in 1970.
23 Cited by
Canon Livett, Arch.