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Kirkstall Abbey: 11. Gatehouse, Yorkshire, West Riding

(53°49′20″N, 1°36′28″W)
Kirkstall Abbey: 11. Gatehouse
SE 259 363
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, West Riding
now West Yorkshire
medieval York
  • Rita Wood
April and May 2010; 17 Feb 2017

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=2328.

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This gatehouse, also called the inner or great gatehouse, was inside the precinct according to the plan (Hope and Bilson 1907, foldout, opp. p. 8). However, it now lies north of the modern main road and away from the other stone buildings of the abbey. Excavations in the area of the inner gatehouse found a paved way leading towards the church, in contrast to a rutted roadway on a southern route into the precinct.

Three bays of the passage through the gate survive, embedded on either side within a later house; it is now used as the café for the Abbey House Museum. Between the central and S bays the gatehouse divided the traffic into a narrower passage for pedestrians to the E, and a wider part for carts and horsemen to the W.

The building is oriented NE-SW. For simplicity, the three bays are called here N, central and S bays.

For bibliography and other general matter, see report for Kirkstall Abbey: 01, church.


Exterior Features

Exterior Decoration



Interior Features


Vaulting/Roof Supports


Although traffic in the centre and S bays was divided, no division is evident in the N and S arches.


W. H. St. John Hope and J. Bilson, Architectural description of Kirkstall Abbey, Thoresby Society, 16, 1907, 10.