The Monument

Near London Bridge, writes W.A. Speck, the Doric column to commemorate the Great Fire of 1666 was designed by Wren and made of Portland Stone.

Where London’s column, pointing at the skies
Like a tall bully, lifts the head, and lies.

- Pope.

The monument to the Great Fire of 1666 is a superb vantage point from which to view almost the whole of London. As Pope’s lines suggest, it also affords a partial prospect of the political, religious, social and cultural history of the capital. If one could have climbed to the balcony at intervals since the Monument’s completion in 1677, one would have witnessed the physical growth of London over the ages.

When it was erected it was the tallest structure in the City, and is still the highest isolated stone column in the world, being 202 feet in height. The balcony itself is 164 feet from the ground and, as John Strype observed in 1720, ‘gives a gallant prospect for many miles around’.

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