St Martin Ludgate

40 Ludgate Hill


St Martin Ludgate has been a place of worship since the 12th century.

However, it might be the burial site of the Welsh King Cadwallader in the 7th century, who was a prominent character in the stories of Geoffrey of Monmouth. This suggest there might have been an earlier building here. A sign at the front of the church reads “Cadwallo King of Britian is said to be buried here in 677”. This claim has never been proven but still remains an interesting connection to the site.

St Martin is located at the old city gate of Ludgate and would have been the first building seen when entering the city through that gate. The back wall is the limit of the Ancient Roman City. You can still see the Roman foundations inside the church. The church is named St Martins, after the patron saint St Martin Tours, who is a patron saint for travellers.

The church was burnt down during the Great Fire of London in 1666 and was restored by Sir Christopher Wren. The spire was built to be a direct contrast to St Paul’s Cathedral, as you can see both buildings from lower Fleet Street. The Spire of St martin’s is a spike to contract the dome of St Pauls. The church sustained minor damage during the Blitz meaning Wren’s church survived today.

The interior contains many artifacts which include ones taken from St Mary Magdalene’s on Old Fish Street which was demolished in 1886. Other notable objects are the organ that has inscribed in Greek – ‘NIYON ANOMHMA MH MONAN OYIN (‘cleanse my sin not only my face’).

The church has plain lines of design, but its steeple with a lead clad dome, a lantern and the acutely sharp steeple, show off Wren’s architectural design.

Information from:

St Martin Ludgate and a Hidden Name


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