Ludgate Hill circa 1896: This view was taken from St Paul’s Churchyard looking down Ludgate Hill from the west front of the cathedral. In the foreground are seen the statue of Queen Anne, which was erected in 1886, when the fine or railing of wrought Lamberhurst iron, which gave such a picturesqueness to the old statue, was removed and replaced by an ordinary fence. The present statue of Queen Anne and her satellite figures of Britannia, France, Ireland, and the American Colonies, are rather coarse copies of the fine marble originals by Francis Bird, which are now preserved at Holmhurst, near Hastings. The statue is historically interesting here, as commemorating the frequent state visits of Queen Anne to the cathedral to return public thanks for the repeated victories of the Duke of Marlborough. Ludgate Hill, down which we are looking, is one of the most interesting and famous of the city streets. It is somewhat steep, and during winter months horses have very great difficulty in getting up it, although it is paved with wood. noting that St Martin's is restored and well worth visiting.
Ludgate Hill today: A great deal has changed, of course, although much is still present. For example, the bollards to the left-hand side have somehow survived, as have the two ornate lamps on the right and left. The fence around Queen Anne is painted white, while the statue has been damaged by erosion and corrosion. Apart from St Martin’s church – its spire almost concealed by a horrid 1970s construction – few of the buildings facing the streets in 1896 are still present. The site of Goodman the dentists is now a corporate block, with shops on the ground floor, including a Marks and Spencer’s food outlet. Look on the left-hand side and you'll see a bus. Now compare this with the shot from 1896; in almost exactly the same location is a horse-drawn omnibus (I wish we still used that term). Note that the top floor in 1896 is open to the elements.