Gated Community History: From Ancient Times to Today

From Ancient Rome to West Palm Beach

Residential gates for communities

Certain parts of the Portland area are no stranger to residential gates. From the gated communities of the West Hills to the semi-rural parcels with broad driveway gates out east, our little slice of paradise has plenty of “gate variety.” You might be surprised to learn, however, that the urge to create gated spaces goes back thousands of years. In fact, some ancient gated communities may have predated the Egyptian pyramids!

Walled Cities of the Ancient World

The ancient world was a violent, unpredictable place. To maintain some semblance of order, city-states constructed massive fortifications that walled off the center of town from outlying districts and ensured that the most important structures and people remained protected. Access to fortified areas was controlled by massive, reinforced gates that prevented all but the most determined invaders from entering. To back up these gates, city-states would often employ a whole host of defenses, including hot oil, archers, water barriers, and other nasty implements. The ancient world’s most impressive gates were found in China, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome.

A Gate for Every Castle

During the medieval period, towns were often controlled by a royal or noble family that lived in a castle or fortified estate house. Along with the castle or house itself, surrounding outbuildings – often occupied by other members of the nobility, clergymen, or important support staff – were blocked off from the surrounding countryside by walls, berms, moats, and other defenses. As in the ancient world, access was only allowed through reinforced gates.

Modern Gated Communities: A Return to Form?

These days, gated communities and individual homeowners don’t really worry about being overrun by barbaric hordes or rival clans. However, Americans do have to deal with safety and security threats that can be mitigated by the strategic use of gates. Today’s gates are more varied than at any time in history. They deftly straddle the line between practicality and beauty. From wrought-iron residential gates designed for single-family properties to commercial-grade swing, slide, and lift gates that can handle all manner of traffic, it’s a great time to invest in a gate for your property.

Turn to a Trusted Gate and Door Resource in Portland, OR

We might never be able to turn back the clock and see what life was really like behind the residential gates of ancient Rome or Greece, but there are plenty of modern alternatives that entice American homeowners today. If you’re in the market for a gate or door that does your property justice, we’re happy to guide you on your buying journey. For more information about all the options available to you, call us at (503) 252-5111 or contact us online.