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Westgate, Canterbury: Largest Surviving City Gate In England

The Westgate in Canterbury stands as a testament to centuries of history, its imposing presence marking it as the largest surviving city gate in England. Erected around 1379 during the 100 Years’ War, this monumental structure was built both for defensive purposes and to showcase Canterbury’s wealth and significance.

Over the years, the Westgate has served various functions, from a notorious prison to its current role as a museum. Despite the passage of time, its grandeur remains largely unchanged, offering visitors a glimpse into Canterbury’s rich past.

As a scheduled monument and Grade I listed structure, the Westgate houses the West Gate Towers Museum, which features historically themed escape rooms and exhibits covering topics such as city wars, crime and punishment, and the Magna Carta. Visitors can explore the museum, climb to the top of the tower for panoramic views of the city, and even dress up in replica armor.

The significance of the Westgate extends beyond its historical value; it played a strategic role in both World War I and World War II, serving as a lookout point for enemy aircraft and a symbol of resistance against invasion.

Today, the Westgate continues to captivate visitors with its fascinating history and remarkable architecture. Reviews on TripAdvisor praise the museum’s knowledgeable guides, captivating exhibits, and stunning views of Canterbury. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or simply want to enjoy a drink in the newly restored police cells at The Pound bar, a visit to the Westgate promises an enriching experience.

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