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City of Westminster in Greater London County, England, United Kingdom
 

York Watergate

 

—Victoria Embankment Gardens —

 
York Watergate Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, July 29, 2018
1. York Watergate Marker
Inscription.  
Victoria Embankment Gardens
York Watergate
The York Watergate was built in 1626 for George Villiers, first Duke of Buckingham, the favourite of James I and owner of York House, which stood to the north side. The Watergate was the principal exit from his gardens to the Thames. Since the creation of the Victoria Embankment in 1864-1870 it no longer forms part of the river front. A proposal to move it to the new river bank was abandoned and the steps which originally led down to the river were removed. The frieze on the Strand side of the gate contains the Villiers family motto, "Fidei coticula crux" (the touchstone of faith is the cross), and the Villiers coat of arms on the other facade is flanked by lions holding shields which contain an anchor to denote Buckingham's position as Lord High Admiral. The Watergate was once thought to have been designed by Inigo Jones or even the mason Nicholas Stone, but it is now generally attributed to Sir Balthazar Gerbier, who served as painter, art collector and architect to the Duke of Buckingham. It is based on the Fontaine de Médicis at the Palais de Luxembourg.

York House was
York Watergate Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, July 29, 2018
2. York Watergate Marker
one of a number of mansions along the south side of the Strand which passed out of ecclesiastical ownership at the Reformation and were granted to the nobility. The Strand itself is a pre-Roman track whose name means the shore of the river. York House was built as the Bishop of Norwich's inn shortly before 1237. At the Reformation it was acquired by Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, the brother-in-law of Henry VIII.

He later surrendered it to Mary Tudor, who granted it to the Archbishop of York in 1556, but from 1558 it was leased to the Lord Keepers of the Great Seal. Francis Bacon was born in York House in 1561 and later lived there as Lord Chancellor until his arrest in 1621. The Duke of Buckingham acquired the house in 1624 and planned to rebuild it, but his assassination in 1628 prevented any major work. During the Civil War the house was granted to General Fairfax but came back to the Villiers family temporarily when his daughter married the second Duke of Buckingham. It was forfeited when he disobeyed Cromwell and during the 1660s it was used for foreign ambassadors.

Like several other Strand mansions, York House was sold for building plots in 1672. Its former ownership was commemorated in the names of the streets laid out there: George Street, Villiers Street, Duke Street, and Buckingham Street. Watergate Walk was called York Terrace until 1936. The
The York Watergate image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, July 29, 2018
3. The York Watergate
Built about 1626 at the edge of the River Thames, it is now 150 yards from the river due to the construction of Victoria Embankment.
new houses were served by a waterworks company established in 1675. After a fire at the original waterworks in 1690, an octagonal tower seventy feet high was built at the river end of Villiers Street to house the steam engine which pumped the water. It ceased to function in 1731 and the company was sold in 1818. In 1988 the Watergate area and the bandstand underwent a substantial refurbishment as part of a local urban renewal scheme.
 
Location. 51° 30.489′ N, 0° 7.364′ W. Marker is in City of Westminster, England, in Greater London County. Marker can be reached from Victoria Embankment 0.2 kilometers north of Northumberland Avenue, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Located in Victoria Embankment Gardens. Marker is in this post office area: City of Westminster, England WC2N 6DU, United Kingdom. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named York Watergate (a few steps from this marker); Samuel Pepys & etc. (within shouting distance of this marker); Samuel Pepys (within shouting distance of this marker); Kipling House (within shouting distance of this marker); Rudyard Kipling (within shouting distance of this marker); William Nicholson (within shouting distance
The York Watergate image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, July 29, 2018
4. The York Watergate
of this marker); Imperial Camel Corps (about 90 meters away, measured in a direct line); Eminent Artists (about 90 meters away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in City of Westminster.
 
Categories. Parks & Recreational Areas
 
More. Search the internet for York Watergate.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 1, 2019. This page originally submitted on August 22, 2018, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 56 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 22, 2018, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.
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