A golden-crowned tribute to the city’s response to adversity
In the early hours of 2 September 1666, the Great Fire of London famously broke out in Farriner’s bakery on Pudding Lane. While the death toll was low, the five-day blaze consumed more than a third of London’s buildings were destroyed and 130,000 inhabitants were left homeless as a result.
Commenced five years later and finally opened in 1677, the Monument is a 202-foot tribute to the city’s ability to rise from the ashes. The spot chosen for the memorial is also 202 feet exactly from the site of the bakery fire. St Paul’s Cathedral architect, Sir Christopher Wren, was involved in the design, which comprised of a fluted, doric column topped by an intricate golden orb. A spiral staircase within the column allows visitors to climb the 311 steps to the top for the twin rewards of a certificate of achievement and spectacular views of the Thames skyline.