In the nineteenth century, St Owen Gate was one of the most unhealthy areas of the city, right next door to the open sewer that was the Castle Mill pond. In the 1850s, when the area was described as being in 'a most miserable condition', the people of twelve households had just two outdoor privies between them. It's no wonder disease and infection was rife.
The old slums were eventually demolished and the present houses built in 1914 as 'model dwellings'. For some time, the St. James Primary School was nearby, roughly where the electricity sub station is now.
At least the slum dwellers were not short of places to drown their sorrows: at one time there were no less than six pubs with a stone's throw of St Owen Gate. The only remaining ones are The Victory (once the Bricklayers' Arms), and The Barrels (formerly the Lamb Inn). The name of this pub might owe something to the Knights Templar, who used the lamb as an emblem, and whose circular chapel was discovered in the 1920s further down St Owen Street.
The flats at the corner of Mill Street replaced the old Ship Inn, and now have a hidden corner in the garden where a piece of the old city wall has been recreated.
There are some interesting images of the gate on the Hereford City Heritage site.