Hurrying along Fleet Street, you might notice the statue that adorns the archway in St Dunstan’s in the West church. You might even notice that it depicts Queen Elizabeth I, but what you might not know is that it is London’s oldest statue and the only one remaining that was carved in Queen Elizabeth’s reign. The statue was carved in 1586 and originally stood above Ludgate at the entrance to the city of London.
The statue used to adorn the portico of the Lud Gate which stood at the bottom of Ludgate Hill. It was damaged by the Great Fire and finally demolished in 1760. During the demolition, the statue of Queen Elizabeth was placed in the basement of a nearby pub for safety, where she sat for nearly eighty years until she was discovered by workmen in 1839 and then transferred to her current position.