The current church of St Martin Ludgate dates back to 1684 and was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. The building replaced an earlier church of medieval origin that was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. In fact, the church is reputed to have an even earlier origin reaching all the way back to Saxon times. King Cadwallo of the Britons is said to have been buried there in 677AD. The first written record of the church dates from 1174, the parish records start in 1410 and we know the church was rebuilt in 1437 and then repaired in 1623. Some forty years later, this was the church destroyed by the Great Fire. The full name of the church is St Martin Within Ludgate as it stood just inside the “Lud Gate” one of the seven gates in the walls that surrounded the medieval city.
A blue plaque on the wall of the church shows the site of this gate and the Wyngaerde panorama of 1543 shows the gate (in blue) right next to the church (in orange). This panorama also shows the church of St Martin Lugdate as relatively minor compared with the other impressive ecclesiastical buildings nearby: the large Friary of Black Friars, the townhouse of the Bishops of Ely, and the two grand churches of St Sepulchre and St Bride’s.
One of the most majestic views of St Martin Ludgate is the one you see if you walk down Lugdate Hill and then turn to look back. You see it here in a watercolour by Shepherd. The spiky tall spire of St Martin’s is a dramatic contrast to the rounded opulence of St Pauls. Since Sir Christopher Wren designed both buildings we can assume that this contrapuntal polarity was fully intentional.
When some of the office buildings around the church of St Martin were redeveloped in 1893 the human remains that were dug up were reinterred at Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey. A monument shown below marks the spot.
The wikipedia page for St Martin Ludgate is here
The Parish Clerks page for St Martin Ludgate is here