THE FOUR GATES HISTORY
Gloucester city centre stands on the ground that was once a Roman fortress in the year 65 AD. This Fortress provided the initial lines for a defensive wall that had four gateways that later came to name the four main streets within the city centre: Northgate Street, Eastgate Street, Southgate Street and Westgate Street. The wall is still reflected in the structure of the city within the curving corner of Brunswick Road and Parliament street once being the corner of the original Fortress.
In 577 AD, Gloucester was one of three cities captured by the Saxons in the Battle of Dyrham. Changes in the archeology of the buildings is slowly showing us how much of the Roman city was replaced by Saxon masonry-and how long it took the Saxons to make these changes after taking over the City.
In 900 AD, Alfred the Great and his wife Ethelred’s Daughter, Ethelflaed, founded a chapel to house the remains of St. Oswald. She also remapped the street pattern of the city that is still present today. The Palace in Kingsholme was also built by Ethelflaed, which was most famously used after William the Conqueror ordered the Domesday Survey in 1085.
In about 1052 St. Peter’s Abbey was rebuilt from the ground up and was home to many a Royal occasion, including Henry the 3rd’s Coronation. St. Peter’s Abbey was later dubbed ‘Gloucester Cathedral’ in 1541.
The City’s importance was confirmed by Henry 1st when he granted it to have the same rights as London City in 1155. Since then the city had its rights changed and tweaked by monarchs until Richard the 3rd, former Duke of Gloucester, granted the city to be a county in it’s own rights. For this reason, Richard 3rd is regarded as an important part of Gloucester’s history and is well respected within the city.
Throughout the English Civil War, Gloucester stood against the King and in favour of Parliament- leading 35,000 men of the city camped on it’s borders defended by a small army when Charles the 1st demanded the surrender of the city on August 10th to September 5th.
When the monarchy returned, Charles the 2nd didn’t forget the stance that Gloucester took even though the leader of the defence-Edward Massie- was now one of his most trusted Generals. Charles the 2nd commanded that the walls of Gloucester be destroyed.
In World War 2 Gloucester was well known for its Aircraft building and Mr. Frank Whittle’s development of the jet engine.