Field Gates
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Walking in Glamorgan, South Wales. Guided walks, routes & local information

Last updated  30.11.05

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Field Gates

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Field Gate passed on the 3.4 mile Llanwonno walk

Many farm and field gates are passed on walks in Glamorgan but most of these are standard metal gates. Occasionally, however, you will come across a traditional wooden gate and the design of these gates varies in the different regions of Wales. Gareth Beech, in an article entitled The Wooden Field Gates of Wales, describes the background to the introduction of field gates from the late 18th century and the different patterns of construction including decoration, markings and features.

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Gate typical of Glamorgan, Cardiganshire, mid Wales and Monmouthshire

The most common pattern in Glamorganshire had two vertical upright 'straps' as in the photo above and a single diagonal brace; this example at the Museum of Welsh Life, St Fagans, Cardiff. You can see that the gate at the top of the page passed on the Llanwonno walk has an additional short diagonal brace against the long brace and this style was more typical of Carmarthenshire and the south west.

The next example which can be seen at the Museum of Welsh Life, St Fagans, Cardiff is typical of Flintshire and Denbighshire.

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Flintshire and Denbighshire gate

Whilst gates have been around for many centuries, it was the enclosure movement which provided a particular impetus to the introduction of field gates. The designs took into account the availability of materials and the need for the gates to last but also allowed individual patterns, markings and features specific to craftsmen and estates.

If you come across interesting examples of old field gates in Wales the Museum of Welsh Life would love to hear from you. Please send a photograph and location of the gate to:

Gareth Beech, Curator Rural Economy, Department of Social and Cultural History, Museum of Welsh Life, St Fagans, Cardiff, CF5 6XB


And now for something completely different

Mallorca Gate.jpg (139694 bytes)

A curvaceous gate from Mallorca