Gatehouse - Encyclopedia

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GATEHOUSE. In the second half of the 16th century in England the entrance gateway, which formed part of the principal front of the earlier feudal castles, became a detached feature attached to the mansions only by a wall enclosing the entrance court. The gatehouse then constituted a structure of some importance, and included sometimes many rooms as at Stanway Hall, Gloucestershire, where it measures 44 ft. by 22 ft. and has three storeys; at Westwood, Worcestershire, it had a frontage of J4 ft. with two storeys; and at Burton Agnes, Yorkshire, it was still larger and was flanked by great octagonal towers at the angles and had three storeys. At a later period smaller accommodation was provided so that it virtually became a lodge, but being designed to harmonize with the mansion it presented sometimes a monumental structure. On the continent of Europe the gatehouse forms a much more important building, as it formed part of the town fortifications, where it sometimes defended the passage of a bridge across the stream or moat. There are numerous examples in France and Germany.

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