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 iTunes App Store or Google Play. 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

Create Your Own Walk in Canterbury

Create Your Own Walk in Canterbury

Creating your own self-guided walk in Canterbury is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Canterbury Introduction Walking Tour

Canterbury Introduction Walking Tour

Canterbury is a UNESCO World Heritage City and one of the most visited cities in England. Canterbury has a long history and has been occupied since Paleolithic times. It was the capital of the Celtic Cantiaci, Romans settled the area for centuries, and the site was the capital of the Kingdom of Kent.

Saint Augustine arrived in Canterbury in 597 to convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity. The...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Canterbury Cathedral and Grounds

Canterbury Cathedral and Grounds

Canterbury Cathedral is one of the oldest regional Christian churches that played a major role in English Christianity. The Cathedral stands within its own walled area, surrounded by Medieval buildings and ruins. This self-guided walking tour takes you to see all the historically significant, magnificent structures within the precinct. It’s an amazing trip back to the Middle Ages.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 Km or 0.5 Miles