Scotch Gate

I was in Carlisle again and happened to pass the spot where Scotch Gate would have been many years ago. After Irish Gate yesterday, it seemed wrong to just walk past. So here it is - the spot that is, not the gateway! What there is instead is Debenhams. The entrance is however on the very spot where the gate was, as excavations were carried out before building began and there was evidence found of the wall and the gateway. I don't think it is coincidence that the store entrance is tower-like and the entrance reflects the  ancient gateway.

So if, in the 13th or 14th century, you were standing where I was to take the photo, you would be in front of a strongly fortified gateway and would probably be refused entry to the city, especially if you were Scottish!

Later, in more peaceful times, the gateway building was used as a prison (you can see the bars at the windows in the drawing) and the gateway itself was used for tax collection. Which is why, just about where I was standing, the old drover's road, still called Drover's Lane, veered off to the left so that the young lad, with his cattle he had brought down from Scotland, could continue his journey outside the city walls and so avoid paying taxes. Things never change!!


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