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14th century Cambridge map

Trumpington Gate

History of the Trumpington Gate

In 1267 Henry III was at Cambridge actively fortifying the town during a period of war against the Barons.

Hist. Univ. Camb by T Fuller, ed. Prickett and Wright, pp. 40:

Only the south and east of the town lay open, which the King intended to fortify. In order whereunto he built two gates, Trumpington Gate by St Peter’s Church, now ruined, on the south; Barnwell Gate by St Andrew’s Church now decayed on the east. And because gates without walls are but compliments in matters of strength, he intended to wall the town about, if time permitted him. Meantime he drew a deep ditch (called King’s Ditch at this day) round about the south and east parts of Cambridge. Presently news is brought to him, that Gilbert, earl of Clare, had seized on the chief city of the realm. No policy for the King to keep Cambridge and lose London the while. Thither marched he in all haste with his army, and may be said to carry the walls of Cambridge away with him, the design thereof sinking at his departure.

The Barnwell Memoranda (end of 13th cent.) record how insurgents from the Isle of Ely then came and burnt the gates.

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