The Gates – Bishopsgate

Right, next stop on our little tour of the ancient city gates of London is – oh, right, you probably read the title. Well anyway, it’s Bishopsgate.

Bishopsgate_HollarOf course, being the perceptive and intelligent person that you are, you’ve no doubt worked out that Bishopsgate is a name that does not date back to the Roman era. Actually, it takes its name from a rebuild in the 7th century by Bishop Erkenwald (which you’d imagine would be a pretty difficult task for a bishop, particularly if he had to keep his hat on). The site is today commemorated by a bishop’s mitre on the corner of Wormwood Street.

A notable landmark is St Ethelburga’s, one of the few medieval churches to survive the Great Fire of London. It also withstood the Blitz, but was destroyed in 1993 when those unbelievable arseheads from the Provisional IRA decided to plant a truck bomb there to make themselves feel like big, potent men. Fortunately, casualties were fairly low – only one death occurred, that of Ed Henty, a journalist who decided to ignore warnings that perhaps the site of one of the Capital’s biggest terrorist attacks might not be entirely safe.

The church has, happily, been rebuilt, and now houses the St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace.

Also notable is the pub Dirty Dick’s, named after an early 19th century local resident (one Richard Bentley)  who, so the pub’s website has it, became so miserable after the death of  his betrothed that he decided never to clean up again, bringing himself in line with every other bachelor who lives alone. Photos on the website show that one of the decorations in the pub was a dead cat hanging over the bar, which I think is taking adherence to the legend a bit far.

Further reading

1 Comment

Filed under 19th century, 20th Century, Booze, Buildings and architecture, Churches, History, London, Medieval London, Notable Londoners, Roman London, The City, The Gates

One response to “The Gates – Bishopsgate

  1. Pingback: A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum | London Particulars

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