Thursday, 21 July 2011

Ludgate Circus

There I am wandering around London when I happened to walk to Ludgate Circus.  It’s at one end of Fleet Street which used to be the “home” of British newspapers until Rupert Murdoch entered the scene.

For some reason I thought this was the historical location of a prison and place of execution.  Actually I should have been thinking of Newgate rather than Ludgate.  But then….. by coincidence, I wasn’t completely wrong. 

Ludgate was the site of an entrance gate to the City of London and is situated at the end of Blackfriars Bridge which crosses the Thames.  There was a gaol built above the gate, but it was a debtors prison.  If you couldn’t pay your debts you went to prison until they were paid.  You’d probably have to rely on family and friends to come to your assistance.  You were also required to pay for the cost of your imprisonment.  Essentially debtors prisons were a commercial and profit making enterprise.  There are a few who should be there now!

The circus was developed in 1865 when the area was extensively remodelled.

These fellows were on the roof of the building opposite my location and didn’t appear to be feeling the cold

As for the name Ludgate, it’s Old English for “swing gate”

1 comment :

Maffi said...

The site of Newgate is under The Old Bailey IIRC. Not too far from Ludgate.