By topic: 153
Unknown source, undated
In book: 134a
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Ludgate and other “Lud” names (AW)


King Lud a Myth?

Sir,—In all probability the ancient place name Ludgate means “the people’s road.” In my own investigation on early tracks I find it certain that “gate” on an ancient name had very seldom its present meaning, but was the way or road itself; another form of it being “yat,” as in Symonds Yat. Kingsgate Street, Holborn (a mean street in which, years ago, I photographed the barber’s shop over which Sairey Gamp lodged), never had a gate in it, and Sir E. Gomme (late Clerk to the L.C.C.) saw to it that its true meaning—Kingsway—was kept alive when it was swept away to make room for a great new thoroughfare.

The first element in Ludgate is, Sir E. Gomme says (with Taylor as first authority) “lud” for people, evidently the A.S. leod. the name “lud” is known at spots far distant from the shadow of St. Paul’s. Here in Herefordshire we have Ludstock; and taking a main track to Shropshire, we cross the Teme at Ludford, and the road mounts the hill on which Ludlow stands, “the most distinguished town in England” as the Saturday Review once put it, aiming straight for the “low” or tumulus which (so Wright records) once stood in the churchyard. There is a Luddington in Warwickshire, a Ludborough and Ludbrooke in Kent, and a Ludwell in Wales.—Alfred Watkins (Hereford).