The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3
This ward takes its name from the ancient water-gate, called Dourgate, which was made in the original wall that ran along the north side of the Thames, for the security of the city of London, against all attempts to invade it by water. It was originally of the gates, or the south gate of this city, where anciently was the trajectus, or ferry of the , whose direction was towards the north-west, as was discovered in digging the foundation of Bow-church, in , and of the great Roman military ways; and Stow, by naming it Downgate, from the great descent from St. John Baptist's church on , to the river Thames, is mistaken: because, considering the discovery of a tesselated Roman pavement in this neighbourhood, it will appear, that there was little or no descent at that place when this gate was at erected; therefore, it could not receive its name from that: wherefore, Leland is probably correct in conceiving that it was anciently formed by the Britons, under the Roman government, and called Dour-gate, that is, the water-gate; which, according to the reasons there assigned, answers exactly to this place; and if so, this was the only original water-gate.
This ward is divided into precincts, named the , , , &c. It is bounded on the east by Candlewick and Bridge wards, on the north by ward, on the west by Vintry ward, and, on the south, by the river Thames.
It is under the government of an alderman, and returns
|inhabitants to the court of common council. Before the great fire in , there were churches in this ward, Allhallows the great, and Allhallows the less; the former was only rebuilt.|
 Vide ante, vol. i. p.6.