Skip to content

You are here: Home > Old Norwich > City Gates

Old Norwich - City Gates

Ber Street Gate

Little is known about the early defences of Norwich, although traces of them have been found. In 1253 a bank and ditch were constructed around much of the city, the eastern boundary being the River Wensum - an area of nearly a square mile was enclosed. Between 1297 and 1334 walls, mainly of flint, were built on the bank.

Twelve gates gave access to the city (and also facilitated the collection of tolls).

The gates were...

  • King Street
  • Ber Street
  • Brazen Gate
  • St Stephen's
  • St Giles's
  • St Benedict's
  • Heigham Gate (a small postern gate).

And north side of the river...

  • St Martin's
  • St Augustine's
  • Magdalen Gate
  • Pockthorpe Gate
  • Bishop's Gate (controlling the river crossing).

These gates were well fortified and supplied with great catapults, mostly paid for by a rich citizen, Richard Spynk, and wardens kept them in good repair. The gates were considerably damaged during Kett's Rebellion in 1549, but they were repaired and remained standing until the Corporation ordered their demolition between 1791 and 1808, partly in the interests of hygiene, but mainly because of the expense of their maintenance.


Did you know... The city of Norwich had 12 gates.