Ludgate Circus, EC4M

Place Name

Constructed between 1864 and 1875 at the junction of Legate Hill and Fleet Street. The former city gate of this name stood here, it derives from an Old English term ludgeat for a postern (side) or back gate. It was rebuilt at least twice in the 13th and 16thCenturies and was knocked down in 1760. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth whose History of the Kings of Britain gave a potted and entirely fictional account of the capital’s origins, the city was named after Lud, king of the ancient Britons. It was he who in 113BC (others say 66BC) refortified the capital, which was originally founded on the banks of the Thames by King Brutus in 1100BC. Having secured the city with walls and towers he then named it after himself as Caer Lud. Over time that name became corrupted to become Caerlundein, then Londinium and, finally, London. The king was said to be buried at Ludgate. The street got its name sometime around 1195 as Lutgatestrate and was Ludgatstrete by 1359.


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