Ludgate Circus

Ludgate Circus is a road junction in the City of London where Farringdon Street/New Bridge Street (the A201) crosses Fleet Street/Ludgate Hill. (Ludgate Hill is a gentle rise to St Paul's Cathedral.)

Ludgate Circus
Ludgate Circus.jpg
Ludgate Circus pictured in 2006, looking north-west
London, United Kingdom
CoordinatesCoordinates: 51°30′51.00″N 0°06′15.97″W / 51.5141667°N 0.1044361°W / 51.5141667; -0.1044361
Roads at
Ludgate Hill, Fleet Street, Farringdon Street and New Bridge Street
OpenedBetween 1864 and 1875

Fleet Street was the only direct road between the cities of London and Westminster till the Embankment was opened in 1870. The Circus crosses the River Fleet, London's largest subterranean river. The concave-arced façades of the buildings facing the Circus were constructed between 1864 and 1875 using Haytor granite from Dartmoor in Devon transported via the prototype Haytor Granite Tramway.

In Charles Dickens' Dictionary of London (1879) the area was described as "Farringdon-circus".[1]


The name Ludgate, according to Stow in his 1598 Survey of London, was derived from the belief that the gate had been created by the pre-Roman British king of London, King Lud, as many of his contemporaries believed. When a new gate was erected a statue on it depicted him, along with one of Queen Elizabeth I.[2]


The site in 1886. Click for broader map and to enable varied magnification.

Had the Fleet line of the London Underground been built, it would have had a station at Ludgate Circus. However, the Fleet line's proposed route evolved into what is now the Jubilee line, which went south of the River Thames before reaching Ludgate Circus. In 1990 however, St. Paul's Thameslink (later renamed City Thameslink) was opened on the proposed site, abolishing Ludgate Hill and Holborn Viaduct stations. In an episode of Rumpole of the Bailey is a wide shot of St Bride's Church and Ludgate Circus filmed c. 1988, before City Thameslink station was built.[3]

Public telephoneEdit

The Post Office's first coin-operated public call box was installed in 1906 at its Ludgate Circus branch, by the British subsidiary of Western Electric (incorporated in Britain in 1910).[4][5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Victorian London – Districts- Streets – Ludgate Hill". The Dictionary of Victorian London. Retrieved 4 August 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ 'The Farringdon Wards of the City of London a ... history' pp. 7–15, by Tony Sharp, London 2002
  3. ^ Season 5, episode 6 Rumpole and the Quality of Life: starting at 19m 37s
  4. ^ Events in telecommunications history: 1906. BT. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Western-Electric Co." Grace's Guide to British Industrial History. Retrieved 19 October 2017.