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The Water Gate

This pub is named after one of the four gates in the town walls.

7 The Strand, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 1EU
Barnstaple’s recorded history begins in the reign of King Aethelstan, who died in 939AD. In c1100, Barnstaple Castle was rebuilt in stone. The town walls and gates were probably rebuilt or strengthened at this time. There were four gates: West Gate, or Water Gate, was at the river end of Cross Street (75 metres, or so, further along The Strand from The Funky Munky). The gatehouse has been demolished and only the tree-covered castle mound survives.

A plaque documenting the history of The Water Gate.


The text reads: These licensed premises are named after one of the four gates in the town walls which once surrounded Barnstaple. The Water Gate stood close by, at the river end of Cross Street. This building was originally George Thorne Andrew’s ‘agricultural store’, built c1890. In the 1920s, it was transformed into Bromley’s restaurant/ballroom – which closed in 1974.

The Water Gate was refurbished by J D Wetherspoon in October 2009.

Photographs and text about The Water Gate.


The text reads: Barnstaple’s recorded history begins in the reign of King Athelstan, who died in AD919. In around 1100 Barnstaple Castle was rebuilt in stone. The town walls and gates were probably rebuilt or strengthened at the time.

There were four gates into the town, West gate, or Water Gate, was at the river end of Cross Street (further along the strand). The gatehouse has been demolished and of the castle, only the tree covered mound has survived.

The marshy area along The Strand was improved in the early 18th century. The Square was enclosed but really dates from later Victorian times. The Clock Tower was built in memory of Prince Albert, in 1802, and still dominates The Square.

Old photographs of Barnstaple, including Bromley’s Restaurant.



Photographs of Barnstaple’s theatres.



A photograph of Barnstaple Bus Station on the Strand.



External photograph of the building – main entrance.


If you have information on the history of this pub, then we’d like you to share it with us. Please e-mail all information to: pubhistories@jdwetherspoon.co.uk