A “Kissing Gate” at Hadrian’s Wall
We just returned from a hiking trip along Hadrian’s Wall in England at the border of Scotland. This is a stone wall built long ago during the reign of the Romans. We only did about 25 miles of the total 84 miles length. This path cuts through beautiful green rolling pasture land where there are a great number of grazing cows and sheep. This means crossing many fences (both wood and stone) placed periodically for control of the herds of animals.
Hadrian’s Wall Path is one of the most visited official National Trails so it is quite a challenge to provide hundreds of hikers (each day) access through fences while at the same time, maintaining animal control. As you might suspect, having gates that require opening and then secure closure, is a substantial risk. So the trail is equipped with several types of gates and stiles (ladder-like fixtures) that do not require human action to re-close the opening.
I was particularly interested in the “Kissing Gates” of which there must be hundreds along this path. This type of gate has a hinged portion that restricts passage of one person at a time. No matter where the hinged portion rests, there is no space for a cow are sheep to pass. This requires a restricted width opening, but also must provide space for hikers equipped with full size backpacks. When you enter the opening, you push the rotating portion forward to open space, and then you must rotate your body half way through, then pull the rotating portion in the opposite direction to open up the exit path.
I was impressed with the sturdy construction of these gates and fences. In English Oak, these gates are built to last for years and survive the continual operation of the hikers. Joinery was also impressive with through mortise and tenon joints, and sturdy cross bracing. Also they’ve applied strong iron pintle hinges.
I’m sure those posts are embedded deeply into the soil.
Here’s the Top View layout in Parallel Projection.
Here’s the top view layout showing the gate rotated for entry.
And, the video: