Oxford History: City Wall


The Little Gate in the South Wall, and St Ebbe's

The Little Gate (or Little South Gate) was at the exact point where St Ebbe’s Street meets Littlegate Street, and explains why what is now a continuous road suddenly has a change of name here. It was earlier known as Water Gate, and had a small arched gateway for pedestrians and a larger one for carts. The pedestrian arch survived until 1798.

Brewer Street

Above: The Little Gate in an extension to this part of the wall

Below: close-up of the plaque visible in the distance in the above picture

Littlegate inscription

The engraving below by Joseph Skelton shows the ruins of the old Little Gate

The south wall to the west of Littlegate Street

The south wall then ran through St Ebbe's parish. It reappears on the other side of the road behind Nos. 8–10 Turn again Lane. Formerly Charles Street, this road returned to its old name in 1972. This piece of wall is on private property and cannot be viewed.

Wall behind Oxford Preservation Trust

The wall then moves in a north-westerly direction until it reaches the junction of Castle Street, Paradise Street, and Norfolk Street, which was the site of the old West Gate.

The above photograph, taken by Henry Taunt in 1912 in the back garden of 7 Princes Street, St Ebbe's, shows the city wall joining that of Greyfriars. (Princes Street, now demolished, ran from 1 Paradise Square to Penson's Gardens.

Next: West Gate and St Peter-le-Bailey Church Next

© Stephanie Jenkins

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