Victorian London - Districts- Streets - Ludgate Hill

Now then, make haste, make haste, and pay a visit to Ludgate Hill and behold, or nearly the last time you will have the opportunity, the vast and celebrated Cathedral of St. Paul, erected by that famous architect. SIR CHRISTOPHER WREN, in the reigns of their Majesties the last of the Stuarts. Be in time, be in time. In a very short time this remarkable edifice will become invisible, owing to the great improvement which the march of intellect and the progress of commerce providentially force upon this Great Metropolis. Therefore, be in time before this view is shut out for ever and ever by the highly ornamented tank in preparation by the Railway Company. 

Punch, August 8, 1863

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Ludgate Hill— The appearance of this, the western approach to St. Paul’s, has been completely marred by the railway bridge of the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway, which crosses it at its lower end, and destroys the view from Farringdon-circus at its foot. Ludgate-hill is steep, and in slippery weather horses with heavy waggons have serious difficulty in getting up it, though the difficulty and danger have been much lessened by the laying down of the new wood pavement. Some houses recently built near the foot of the hill, on the south side have been thrown back some feet: and it is hoped that eventually the improvement will be carried out throughout the whole length of the street. From Ludgate-hill only can a good view be obtained of the grand western façade of St. Paul’s cathedral, a view that has been greatly improved by the clearing away of the iron railings, so leaving the west front open to Ludgate-hill. Few improvements in a small way have been as valuable and effective as this.

Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879

LUDGATE HILL VIADUCT ... Carrying the London, Chatham and Dover Railway over Ludgate Hill.

Reynolds' Shilling Coloured Map of London, 1895

Victorian London - Publications - History - The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896 - Ludgate Circus

Ludgate Circus - photograph


One of the busiest spots in the City is Ludgate Circus, where meet Fleet Street, Ludgate Hill, Farringdon Street, and New Bridge Street. As may be seen from our view, the stately dome and towers of St. Paul's Cathedral are conspicuous objects from the Circus, although the railway bridge and the slender steeple of St. Martin's - one of Wren's churches - obstruct the view. The name Ludgate is derived from an old gate- the sixth and principal gate of London, says Stow in his " Survey" - which was taken down in 1760. Antiquaries, however, differ as to whether the gate was built by a King Lud, who flourished B.C. 66 (as Spenser has it in the "Faery Queen"), or whether the word is merely a corruption of Floodgate or Fleetgate.

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Two Hundred and Fifty Views London, [no date - probably 1900s]

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Two Hundred and Fifty Views London, [no date - probably 1900s]