The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3Allen, Thomas
On the spot where this gate stands were, anciently, posts, rails, and a chain, as in other places where the city liberties
|terminated. Afterwards, a house of timber was erected across the street, with a narrow gateway, and an entry through the south side of it. But, since the fire of London, the present structure was erected, and is the only remaining gate at the extremity of the city liberties.|
This gate is a very noble , and has posterns, on each side, for the convenience of foot passengers. It is built entirely of Portland-stone, of rustic work below, and of the Corinthian order. The great arch is elliptical and very flat. Over the gateway, on the east side, in niches, are stone statues of queen Elizabeth and king James I. with the city arms over the key-stone, and on the west side are the statues of king Charles I. and king Charles II. in Roman habits, with the royal arms on the key-stone. The architect was sir Christopher Wren; the sculptor John Bushnell.
On the top of this gate were exhibited the heads of the unfortunate men who embarked in the rebellion of .
The ground in the neighbourhood of St. Dunstan's church appears to have been anciently of a marshy nature, or else within the course of the tide; for, in digging at the end of , and further eastward, in , in the year , a stone pavement was discovered at the depth of feet from the surface, which was supported by a number of piles, driven very close to each other.
A little to the east of St. Dunstan's church, and near the south end of , is Crane-court, in which is a neat plain building, called