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Aldgate was the easternmost gate into the walled city. The name Aldgate is thought to come from one of four sources: Æst geat meaning Eastern gate (Ekwall 36), Alegate from the Old English ealu meaning ale, Aelgate from the Saxon meaning public gate or open to all, or Aeldgate meaning old gate (Bebbington 20–1).
The gate was one of the four original gates in the wall that was built by the Romans in about 200 CE. In A Survey of London, John Stow remarks that Aldgate used to have two portcloses (portcullises), but in 1598 had only one (Stow 1.29). These portcullises would have been lowered at night to protect the city. The gate itself also doubled as a residence. Geoffrey Chaucer lived above Aldgate from 1374 into the 1380s (Benson xx-xxii). In The Manner of Her Will, poet Isabella Whitney points out that the city gates were also centres of commerce since they seem to have been a popular place for fruitsellers, or fruit wives, to peddle their wares. She writes, To every gate under the walls / that compass thee about, / I fruitwives leave to entertain / such as come in and out (249–52). The gate was rebuilt in 1609 to include a statue of James I and was eventually demolished in 1761 (Smith 14).
Aldgate Street was important to London because it was part of a major east-west route through the City, and Aldgate was therefore a heavily used gate.
See also: Chalfant 29.


Last modification: 2017-03-15 17:14:07 -0400 (Wed, 15 Mar 2017) (mholmes)
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MLA citation:

Marshall, Lacey, and Janelle Jenstad. “Aldgate.” The Map of Early Modern London. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Web. 19 October 2017. <http://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/ALDG1.htm>.

Chicago citation:

Marshall, Lacey, and Janelle Jenstad. n.d. “Aldgate.” The Map of Early Modern London. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed October 19, 2017. http://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/ALDG1.htm.

APA citation:

Marshall L., & J. Jenstad. (n.d.). Aldgate. In J. Jenstad (Ed.), The Map of Early Modern London. Retrieved October 19, 2017, from http://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/ALDG1.htm

TEI citation:

<bibl> <author><persName><surname>Marshall</surname>, <forename>Lacey</forename></persName></author>, & <author><persName><forename>Janelle</forename> <surname>Jenstad</surname></persName></author>. (<date>n.d.</date>). <title level="a">Aldgate</title>. In <editor><persName><forename>J.</forename> <surname>Jenstad</surname></persName></editor> (Ed.), <title level="m">The Map of Early Modern London</title>. Retrieved <date when="2017-10-19">October 19, 2017</date>, from <ref target="http://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/ALDG1.htm">http://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/ALDG1.htm</ref> </bibl>