Barclay’s Gate in the Western Wall of the Temple Mount

One of the readers of a previous post drew attention to a Palestine Exploration Fund (PEF) photograph of the lintel of Barclay’s Gate. In the caption, we are taken to task for publishing an incorrect interpretation of the lintel in BAR XV No.6, pages 23-42.

We wrote the following comment below this photograph:

The incorrect black outline on the photograph on p. 28 of the BAR issue was unfortunately added by the editors and not by ourselves. For the correct drawings of the lintel of Barclay’s Gate, see our book The Quest, Revealing the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, pp. 26, 28.

Whoever put up this caption didn’t look carefully at the drawing next to the photograph in the BAR issue, where the lintel is drawn correctly.

Barclay’s Gate is one of the four gates in the Western Wall of the Herodian Temple Mount:

The red arrow points to Barclay's Gate - © Leen Ritmeyer

This study drawing shows the depth of the original gate, which is still buried underground:

This drawing shows that only the upper three stone of the left jamb of Barclay's Gate can be seen today, the rest are still buried below ground. The size of the original gate is based on the explorations of Charles Warren in the 1870's.

This close-up photograph shows that the projection on the left side of the lintel is not very sizeable:

This photograph shows the projection on the left side of the lintel.

A central part of the lintel can be seen in the small room where women pray:

The central part of the lintel over Barclay's Gate - photo Clare Ritmeyer

Here is a view of the same lintel from inside the Temple Mount:

The lintel of Barclay's Gate seen from inside the Temple Mount - photo: Eric Matson Collection

Barclay’s Gate is one of the two lower gates in the Western Wall, the other is Warren’s Gate. Both these gates had internal passageways with steps by which one could ascend to the Temple Mount. This reconstruction drawing shows how Barclay’s Gate worked in the Second Temple period:

Isometric reconstruction drawing of Barclay's Gate - © Leen Ritmeyer

If the new plans for the Western Wall plaza were carried out, the full size of this gate would be visible to all.

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