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Image by Glenn Beltz

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Henley Gate (Heliyik)

Currently the site of UCSB's Henley Gate, to the Chumash this site was known as Heliyik and it was one of the major settlements of the area. The name Heliyik means ‘the middle’ which likely comes from its position relative to the other large Chumash sites of the area. The Goleta Valley as a whole was a densely populated area with many towns and Heliyik was one such town located on the terrace by the east entrance of campus. Today, the scenic place where most fourth years take their graduation photos sits directly on top of this former settlement which very few people know about.


During WWII the site where UCSB would be built served as military base and the area near Henley Gate was the site of the barracks.


Approximately, referred to by Fr. Fermín Francisco de Lasuén as ‘Las Llagas’ but this name, like the others he assigned to the Goleta towns, would not last very long.


Before the Henley Gate was built, the East Entrance held the UCSB campus kiosk which is now at the loop by Campbell Hall.


July, the Henley Gate was fully constructed and unveiled. The entire project cost some $5 million with half being used on the Steck roundabout and half on the gate itself.


The East Gate project awarded Project of the Year Award from our local branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers (Steck Roundabout completed).


Prior to European contact this site was used as a site of council meetings, festivals, and feasts.

henley gate aerial.jpg

WWII Marine Air Station.  Image from IV Local Wiki.

Modern UCSB Henley Gate.  Image from Wikimedia Commons.


  • Johnson, John R. “The Rancherias of Mescaltitan: Chumash History and Sociopolitical Organization in the Goleta Valley.” GOLETA SLOUGH PREHISTORY: Insights Gained from a Vanishing Archaeological Record, vol. 4, SANTA BARBARA MUS OF NAT, 2020, pp. 17–51. Contributions in Anthropology. ( )

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