A mythical figure from early Britain, King Lud is said to have been a pre-Roman king of Britain who rebuilt London (which according to legend had been originally founded by the exiled Trojan Brutus) and from whom London derives its name.
Lud is said by some to have given his name to the gateway known as Ludgate (although others say it comes from an Old English term meaning swing or postern gate – see our earlier post here for more on Ludgate).
This series of badly weathered statues – depicting King Lud and his two sons, apparently named Androgeus and Theomantius – was originally located on the gate. In fact, the legend goes, the king was buried under it.
Following the gate’s demolition, the statues – said to date from 1586 with the name of the sculptor now lost to time – were moved here at some point to the vestry porch of St Dunstan-in-the West in Fleet Street.