Facts About the Monument to the Great Fire of London

Here are some facts about the Monument in London.

  • The Monument is a stone column commemorating the Great Fire of London of 1666. It is located near to where the fire started, at Fish Street Hill and Monument Street.
  • The column is 62 metres tall and is the tallest free standing stone column in the world. The viewing platform at the top is reached by a narrow staircase of 311 steps.
  • It is also 62 metres from the exact spot where the Great Fire of London started. The fire started in a bakery in Pudding Lane, soon spreading through London.
  • Christopher Wren designed the column, after it was decided that there should be a memorial to the fire. Wren designed the column so that it could be used as a telescope too.

Monument

  • At the entrance to the Monument are 3 inscriptions, all in Latin. They describe how the fire started, the damage it caused and how King Charles II dealt with it.
  • Soon after it was built, six people threw themselves from the top of the Monument, and one person fell accidentally. A wire fence was added in the middle of the 19th century.
  • An urn of flames is on the top of the Monument. King Charles II refused to have a statue of himself on top, pointing out that he didn’t start the fire.
  • In 2011 a sculpture featuring live music was designed for the monument and performed 18 times. It was the first time music had ever been played or heard inside it.
  • Over 100,000 people visit the Monument every year. In July 2007, the attraction closed for 18 months for repairs and renovations.
  • Another smaller and less well known monument was built nearby, on the spot where the fire was finally put out. It is a statue of a small boy, called the Golden Boy of Pye Corner.

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