|Town or city||London|
Despite the claim by the Norman-Welsh Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Historia Regum Britanniae that Ludgate was so-called having been built by the ancient British king called Lud – a manifestation of the god Nodens – the name is believed by later writers to be derived from "flood gate" or "Fleet gate", from "ludgeat", meaning "back gate" or "postern", or from the Old English term "hlid-geat" a common Old English compound meaning "postern" or "swing gate".
Anti-royalist forces rebuilt the gate during the First Barons' War (1215–17) using materials recovered from the destroyed houses of Jews. The gate was rebuilt about 1450 by a man called Foster who at one time was lodged in the Debtor's Prison over the gate. He eventually became Sir Stephen Foster, Lord Mayor of London. His widow, Agnes, renovated and extended Ludgate and the Debtor's Prison and the practice of making the debtors pay for their own food and lodging was abolished. Her gift was commemorated by a brass wall plaque, which read:
Devout souls that pass this way,
For Stephen Foster, late mayor, heartily pray;
And Dame Agnes, his spouse, to God consecrate,
That of pity this house made, for Londoners in Ludgate;
So that for lodging and water prisoners here nought pay,
As their keepers shall answer at dreadful doomsday!
Ludgate is mentioned in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. According to the pseudohistorical work the name comes from the Welsh King King Lud, who he claims also gave his name to London.
Ludgate appears in Walter de la Mare's poem "Up and Down", from Collected Poems 1901–1918, Vol. II: Songs of Childhood, Peacock Pie, 1920.
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