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THE GATES OF NAAS

Leinster Leader, 5 October, 1963

Few people to-day can picture Naas as a town of many gates. No trace of them remains. Six gates are regarded as having stood at different entrances.
Their purpose was toll more than defence since Henry VIII’s time. The West gate, Custom gate in 1786, at the junction of Main Street and New Row, received its name from the custom on turf entering by there. In 1671 the custom on turf was sold to William Shannon whose duty it was to pave the entrance to the gate and keep it in repair each year, for which he received the customs on turf.
Corban gate, entering to Corban’s Lane from Main Street, was pulled down in 1680 o make up walls for the church.
These ancient gates of Naas, it is thought, dated from 1171 when the town was surrounded by a wall strongly fortified.
We are told that from the time of Queen Elizabeth’s charter perpetual references were made to fortifying Naas and rebuilding its walls. Naas was a prosperous market town in 1577.
During the stormy days of the 17th century, from 1641 to 1647, Naas was many times taken. In 1680 two of the old gates were pulled down. At this period the Vicarage Castle, St. David’s, was regarded as the strongest defence of Naas.
The Town Hall is built on the site of what was named “White Castle” or “Old Castle.” The year 1771 saw the rooms in the old castle let to people at 30s. 

An article from the Leinster Leader, 5 October, 1963 on the six gates that once surrounded Naas. Retyped by Aisling Dermody


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