The Monument to the Great Fire of London


“Only 311 spiral steps to the top, you can do it easily” a little voice said!!  “Not today – we haven’t enough time” we replied.

We had just started Papa’s Monument and Tower Hill Quiz Walk so did not want to stop, but we will be back.

However if, unlike us, you do make the climb you are rewarded with great views from the observation gallery.

The column commemorates the Great Fire of London, which started on 2 September 1666.  It was built on the site of St. Margaret’s Church the first church to be burnt down in the fire.  The fire started 202 feet from here so this measurement was used to determine the  height of the column.


Where:  Fish Street Hill, London EC3R 6DB, by Monument Underground Station
Suitable For: Active grandparents and active children
Admission: Charge – also available as a combined ticket with Tower Bridge Exhibition
 Website: www.themonument.info


monument_baseAs you walk around the outside of the column you will see inscriptions in Latin.  The one on the north face says

In the year of Christ 1666, on the 2nd September, at a distance eastward from this place of 202 feet, which is the height of this column, a fire broke out in the dead of night, which, the wind blowing, devoured even distant buildings, and rushed devastating through every quarter with astonishing swiftness and noise. It consumed 89 churches, gates, the Guildhall, public edifices, hospitals, schools, libraries, a great number of blocks of buildings, 13,200 houses, 400 streets. Of the 26 wards, it utterly destroyed 15, and left 8 mutilated and half-burnt. The ashes of the City, covering as many as 436 acres, extended on one side from the Tower along the bank of the Thames to the church of the Templars, on the other side from the north-east gate along the walls to the head of Fleet-ditch. Merciless to the wealth and estates of the citizens, it was harmless to their lives, so as throughout to remind us of the final destruction of the world by fire. The havoc was swift. A little space of time saw the same city most prosperous and no longer in being. On the third day, when it had now altogether vanquished all human counsel and resource, at the bidding, as we may well believe, of heaven, the fatal fire stayed its course and everywhere died out. *[But Popish frenzy, which wrought such horrors, is not yet quenched.]
* These last words were added in 1681 and finally deleted in 1830.


If you have time after seeing The Monument, then continue down Fish Hill Street and visit Magnus The Martyr church which has  4 metre long model of the old London Bridge.  It is open Tuesday to Friday 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.

Getting There Fish Street Hill, London EC3R 6DB 
Google see map or get directions

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