The Monument

Site: The Monument (4 memorials)

EC3, Monument Street

Built 1671-7, designed by Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke as a monument to the Great Fire and as a scientific instrument. Each step is exactly 6 inches high. The very top of the edifice has a hinged lid and the spiral staircase surrounds a void (rather than a solid shaft) so the whole height can be used by a giant pendulum, or as a telescope, or (and who does't want to do this?) for dropping things.

'Hooke’s laboratory' is a room below ground not normally open to the public but Londonist (who have an 'access all areas' pass) have been there.

The column is 62m high, and it stands that same distance from the supposed site of the start of the fire.

The column stands on a plinth, three faces of which carry Latin texts with translations. This all amounts to a lot of text but the inscriptions are not very photogenic so we have treated each pair of faces as a memorial: west and north together, east and south together.

In all this verbiage we draw your attention to the reference to "Popish frenzy" at the end of the (English version) of the inscription on the north face. This is explained at The Monument, which is an excellent resource.

2016: Great post from Londonist re The Monument suicides showing fascinating contempory newspaper reports with quite surreal drawings.

In George Gissing's 1894 novel 'In the Year of Jubilee' a young man shows a lady, whom he does not know very well, around the City, in which he works, and takes her to the top of the Monument, where they enter into a sort of engagement, dependent on the success of his career.

2021: The City of London must have had some money sloshing around - they've installed a few random plaques in the paved area at the base of The Monument, two of which are commemorative. We noticed them in 2021 but they could have been there for years. The area was pedestrianised in 2006 and refurbished 2007-9.

This section lists the memorials located at this site:
The Monument


Fish Street Hill plaque

First known as Brigge Street, then New Fishe Street, Fish Street Hill has bee...

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Plaque to a lost plaque commemorating the Great Fire

This plaque appears to be that oddest of things, a plaque commemorating a los...

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The Monument - east and south

{East face - Latin inscription with a bronze plaque below:} Translation of th...

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The Monument - west and north

The bas relief by Cibber is worthy of close examination.  It shows a woman on...

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