Some legends connect the church with legendary King Cadwallo (now usually referred to as Cadwallon ap Cadfan, father of Cadwaladr. A sign on the front of the church reads "Cadwallo King of the Britons is said to have been buried here in 677". Modern historians would place his death about 682. Cadwallo's image was allegedly placed on Ludgate, to frighten away the Saxons. However the earliest written reference is from 1174. A Blackfriars monastery was built nearby in 1278. The church was rebuilt in 1437 and the tower was struck by lightning in 1561. The parish books start from 1410. Before the Reformation, the church was under the control of Westminster Abbey, and afterwards under St. Paul's Cathedral.