~ CHRIST CHURCH GATE ~
The Norman gateway was built in 1517 by Prior Goldstone
The christ figure and the original gates were destroyed in 1642(48) *Richard Culmer
The original turrets were taken down in 1830
("the battlements were removed in the present centery to allow some residents in the vicinity to see the time by the Cathedral clock.")
The carving and artwork of the gate was restored in 1932/33 and the turrets rebuilt in 1937
I come now to survey our cathedral and its precinct entering at it's principal gate, "a very goodly, strong, and beautiful structure, and of excellent artifice," says Mr. Somner built in the year 1517, as appears by this now scarcely legible inscription:
Hoc opus constructum est anno Domini millesimo Quingentesimo [decimo] septimo
How the word decimo came to be overlooked by him, we can only guess, for the words are all at length in capitals, a span long, taking up the depth and almost the length of a cornice a little above the arch, which runs along the front of the building, and turns round the two octagonal towers at the corner of it.
Age indeed has made the cornice and inscription pretty near of the same colour, so that it does not take the eye, though it is legible enough with a little attention; but however it happened, Mr. Somner made the mistake, and Mr. Battely continued it.
"A well was discovered opposite Christ Church Gate, June 21, 1871"
Christ Church Gateway c. 1887 - an old Magic Lantern slide in my collection
The Christ Church Gate was badly damaged in the time of Cromwell, with the statue of Christ and the two angels with wings outspread being shot at, "they discharged against it forty shot at the least, triumphing much when they did hit it in the head or face". They ended up pulling down the damaged Christ using ropes with "the head falling off two hours before the body, which Culmer described as being riveted to the wall with iron bars."
The ceiling in the Christ Church Gate
Christ Church gate was built in 1517, the year in which Luther burnt the Pope's Bull, the year in which the "Arabian Nights" were produced in the East, and the year in which Sultan Selim built the walls of Jerusalem. The Archaeological Journal 1875
The two doorways in Christ Church Gateway from old postcards in my collection
"The Massive Wooden Gates are also carved with the arms of the see of Canterbury impaling those of archbishop Saxon on one side, and with the arms of the deanery of Canterbury on the other"
Christ Church Gate
A Drawing of the gate from Felix Summerly, 1843
Christ's Church Gate
drawn by H. Gastinieu, Engraved by S. Lacey, published 1830 by Geo. Virtue
From an old stereoview, you can see the damage time and weather has done to this gate.
Christ Church Gateway c. 1887
An old postcard of the gate, posted 1905 from Margate
From an old postcard and my photograph (before restoration and after restoration)
Details of the gate with the restoration. I think they did a magnificent job of restoring the gate, except for blue Christ in the middle, it really doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the architecture or detail of the gate.
The rear of the Gate, my photo and an old postcard
A detail of the back of the gate from my photo above
© T. Machado 2007