Oxford History: City Wall


The South Gate and its Church

Bus going through South Gate

The South Gate used to span St Aldate’s, in line with the surviving wall on the north side of Brewer Street. The bus in the above picture would be passing through the gate, on its way out of the town.

The remains of the gate were demolished (or fell down) in the mid-seventeenth century. A hundred years later the street names still recalled its existence: Fish Street ended at this point and Grandpont (which continues down to Folly Bridge) began. It is also possible that the name “Aldate” may be a contraction of “Old Gate”, rather than the name of a saint.

Until the sixteenth century, this gate also used to have it own church. St Michael-at-the-Southgate Church was closed and demolished along with a section of the wall in 1525 to make way for the great quadrangle of Cardinal College (now Christ Church), and its parish was united with St Aldate’s.

Victoria County History: History of the County of Oxford, Vol. IV:
St Michael-at-the-Southgate Church

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©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 2 October, 2012

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