Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Monument (London)

The Monument is a well known structure in the City of London, and the tallest stone column in the world.

It is a giant Doric column, 205 feet tall, standing in Monument Street by Fish Street Hill.

Its purpose is to mark the starting place of the Great Fire of London in Pudding Lane, which destroyed almost all the City in 1666, beginning on 2nd September in a bakery.

The base plinth has a relief showing Charles II, in Roman dress, protecting the citizens of London. An inscription blaming Catholics for the fire was added in 1681, but thankfully this was removed in 1831.

There are 311 steps up to a balcony with a fantastic view.

The whole thing is topped by a vase of flames, although the original intention was a statue of Charles II. He, however, declined the offer, pointing out "I didn't start the Fire".

The Monument was designed, like so much of post-Fire London including the churches and St. Pauls Cathedral, by Christopher Wren, with help from the much less known, but equally brilliant, Robert Hooke.

The height, 205 feet, is the same as the distance between it and the point where the Fire started.

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