Westgate Tower, Canterbury

Westgate Tower, Canterbury

The western gate in the city walls is the 60-foot (18-meter) high Westgate. This impressive structure is the largest surviving medieval gatehouse in England. It was built of local ragstone around 1379 and is the only one of Canterbury's original seven gates still standing.

The Romans built the first city walls in 300 AD. Westgate was always the most crucial entrance, as this was the road from London. The present gate was built to replace the original Roman one.

The building has had various other uses over the years. It was used as the local prison from the 1400s to the 1800s. There was even a cage built in the gateway where select prisoners were allowed to beg from or chat with passers-by.

After the city walls were dismantled in the early 1800s, the jailer's house was built to the north. This building wound up serving as the Canterbury City Police headquarters. It was connected to the jail by an iron bridge. This building is now a bar and cafe.

Presently the structure houses the West Gate Towers Museum and several very realistic and historically-themed escape rooms.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Canterbury. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Westgate Tower on Map

Sight Name: Westgate Tower
Sight Location: Canterbury, England (See walking tours in Canterbury)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Canterbury, England

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