The Oxford dictionary defines a gate as “the hinged barrier that is used to close an opening on walls or fences”. Gates have been providing our properties with a level of security for centuries. In this article, we will discuss everything concerning gates and their evolution through the years.
A Brief History of Gates
Gates has quite a long history, serving various purposes (mostly security) for humanity. Early people used gates as boundaries from one town to another. As high walls were built to mark territory, an opening on the walls was enclosed using a gate to allow people from entering and leaving the inside of the walls. This gate is often a very large two-door swing gate or a gate that can be used as a drawbridge. The practice of adding gates to wall boundaries is often thought of as the origin of the term “gateways”.
Gates were not one that can be seen securing every dwelling in the medieval era. It was only used by the monarchs to safeguard their castles or at provincial or town gateways. As time passed, the common people started to secure their fences with gates as well. Wooden planks fastened together by iron plates that were usually locked using chains and padlocks were the typical gates for the common people back then. Those are less secured than the wrought iron gates of well-to-do families. However, they were enough to guard the houses in poor districts.
Because a well-decorated and well-looking house was a sign of class and social standing in Victorian times, the use of gates was no longer limited to the royals. Homeowners had to make their gates appealing as well as decorate their homes with attractive railing, fountains with delicate sculptures, and other decorative materials. Since gates are the first thing that guests and passers-by could see, homeowners tend to put a lot of attention to the design of the gates of their property.
After the many wars across the globe, gates had proven to be a necessity to many families. With limited supplies, the gates after the war were created in more simple designs. Builders and architects focused more on the sturdiness and durability of the gates rather than the aesthetic quality since post-war called for tighter security.
It was only after the completion of the war rehabilitation that people decided to get their attention back on the gates’ design. However, the population explosion led to having a shortage of land properties. This significantly affected the way people installed gates for their properties. Architects designed slimmer gates to cater to narrow front yards. Slide gates also became popular due to space efficiency.
In modern times, automated gates are gaining popularity. Automated gates come in two options a swing gate and a slide gate. These gates can be controlled through a remote control which allows people to pass through without leaving their vehicles.
Gates According to Uses
When we talk about gates, what comes to mind first is the door-like structures attached to our fences or exterior walls. However, it is crucial to note that there are other forms of gates for specific purposes. Some of them are as follows:
City gates or Town gates are fortified gates. They are used as access to a walled city or town since the earliest times. Most of the city gates established long ago are now considered heritage sites. City gates were originally erected to let people, transportation, commodities, and livestock enter and exit a walled city in a controlled manner. They were maintained by military or metropolitan authorities and filled functions related to warfare, security, welfare, and trade, depending on their historical context. The city gate was also frequently used to display a variety of public information, including tax policies, tolls, public announcements, and legal texts. It may be extensively defended, with shields designed to contain the city’s emblem, statues, and inscriptions. Other times it can also be used as a warning or coercion device, such as by exhibiting the heads of executed criminals or enemies to the city.
A fortified gate opening directly from a castle ground or town wall to a dock, riverside, or waterfront is known as a watergate. It allowed personnel and supplies to enter the castle or fortification directly from the waters in medieval times, as well as allowing those inside the castle easy access to water transportation.
From the French word “porte coleice” which literally means “sliding gates”, portcullis gates were used in walled cities and castles during ancient times. This gate is often made of iron bars nailed in a criss-cross pattern with pointed ends to bury themselves on the ground once hoist down. Many medieval castle gateways were fortified with portcullises, which served to secure the castle during times of war or siege. Every portcullis was installed in vertical slots in the castle’s walls and could be instantly lifted or lowered using chains or ropes connected to an internal hoist. Portcullises had the advantage over gates in that they could be closed by just one guard in the event of a siege.
Two portcullises were frequently utilized at the main entrance. It is typical to close the one closest to the inside first, followed by the one further away. This was commonly employed to trap the enemy, with flaming wood or fire-heated sand being dropped from the roof or “murder-holes” onto them. Contrary to popular perception, hot oil was not routinely utilized in this manner since oil was highly expensive during the early days.
Mon (Japanese Gates)
Popularized by Akutagawa’s short story “Rashomon”, Mon is the term used to refer to or describe (as a suffix) the traditional Buddish gates. Most temple and shrine gates, unlike secular building gates, are solely symbolic components of existentialist philosophy, as they cannot be fully closed and only serve to highlight the transition between the commonplace and the holy ground. A Mon gate is believed to have purifying and cleansing powers in many contexts.
The adjective lych survived into modern English from the Old English or Saxon term for cadaver, mostly as an adjective in specific phrases or names, such as lych owl (since its cry was believed to herald death) and lych bell (a hand-bell rung during deaths) or lych way, the path along which a deceased was carried to the graveyard. Lychgates are typical in English churchyards but are more often associated with burials. Lychgates are made out of a porch-like, roofed structure atop a gate, which is usually made of wood. They are normally made up of rectangular upright wooden posts. A roof covered in thatch, hardwood or clay tiles are supported by a number of beams. They can feature decorative engravings and be used as memorials in the past.
The term stems from the gate’s appearance that seemed to be “kissing” the enclosure’s interior. It reliably produces a barrier rather than requiring to be properly locked in every passage. A kissing gate perfectly allows people to pass through but not livestock. A half-round, trapezoidal, rectangular or V-shaped enclosure with the free end of a hinged gate caught between its arms is the standard design for kissing gates. To pass through a gate, it must be dragged or pushed using an arm.
A Hampshire gate, sometimes known as a wire gate, is a type of agricultural gate made from a removable segment of wire fence. When access is required rarely or when the cost of a traditional rigid gate is too much for the farm owner, this type of gate is employed. It does not require the hefty gateposts that rigid gates require to sustain their weight, it can be fitted to a range of terrains, it is inexpensive and simple to construct, and it can be made considerably wider than a typical gate if necessary.
Baby gates are installed in a door or gates of a house where a toddler lives. It prevents the child from wandering outdoors or in restricted areas indoor as the gates are constructed just the same height as the child.
A turnstile is a type of gate that permits just one person to pass through at a given time. It can also be designed to enforce one-way human traffic and limit passage to those who input, a ticket, coin, pass, or anything similar. Frequently used for paid access, a turnstile can be used to get entry to public transportation, a pay toilet, or to limit access to approved individuals.
Gates as Security Measures for Homes
In today’s society, gates are more popular as security measures for homes and businesses more than for any other purposes. Along with enhanced security features like various types of locks, automated mechanism and intercom, intricate to minimalist designs are incorporated into the many HDB gate’s designs nowadays.
Both home and landed property gates in Singapore are now competing in beauty and security. To those who are wondering, here’s how adding gates to your house can do wonders for your property.
Homeowners install security gates for a variety of reasons, one of which is to strengthen their protection from thieves. It’s worth emphasizing that the majority of robbers seize every opportunity to commit theft in this perilous time. It entails that if they think it’ll be easy to enter your house, they’ll probably grab that chance. An HDB gate is designed to provide a degree of protection for your property against burglars and other trespassers.
Safety measure for kids
It is critical to take preventive measures as a parent who is taking care of a toddler. This age tends to run around often and might end up getting involved in road accidents if they are not properly protected. You can add security to your home by installing gates. More so when you choose automatic security gates which you can control remotely since small toddlers will not be able to open them.
It beautifies the exterior
Gates come in a variety of colours, sizes and styles. A properly installed gate may enhance the aesthetic quality of your house’s exterior by adding a touch of elegance to the overall appearance. Wrought iron gates are always an aesthetic choice although there are various types of gates nowadays that will suit well in an HDB Flat. When choosing a gate for your home, it is important to invest not only in security but also in the gate’s design as onlookers often take notice of the gates first. Should you want to sell your property in the future, it will be easily noticed by prospective buyers. Likewise, if you are running a rental property, making sure that your landed property’s gate looks attractive will bring you more tenants.
Can increase the value of your property
Because gates enhance the appearance of your home, they can help you increase the value of your home. Residential gates can also add value to a property because they provide additional security and convenience for a prospective buyer. As a buyer, you would want to not be bothered with installing gates for your property. Thus, a well-maintained and functional gate can make your property more attractive. It is even more important to add visually appealing gates to attract more buyers and give off the impression that the property is well-taken care of by its previous owner.
Where to find quality residential gates and gate maintenance services?
As a property owner, you would want to make sure that your property is well secured. When adding gates can improve the security in your home, it is important to find a good supplier and service provider for your property’s gate. Liminal Singapore is a local supplier of home and landed property gates as well as HDB main doors. Promotions and exclusive discounts are always available at Liminal to make our products and services more affordable to our customers. We are ever committed to making every property in Singapore as secure as possible through gates beyond the standards of quality.