The Great Fire of London of 1666 destroyed vast swathes of the English capital in what was the largest conflagration to have ever struck the city.
In commemoration of the lives lost and the thousands of people left homeless as a result of the fire, construction of The Monument was started in 1671 and completed in 1677.
Standing at the junction of Monument Street and Fish Street Hill in the City of London, The Monument offers outstanding views of the surrounding area and with a 360-degree panoramic outlook, this is one of the best vantage points in the whole of the capital.
The Great Fire of London began at a bakery on Pudding Lane on the evening of September 2nd 1666 and raged for three days and nights until it was finally extinguished. During this time, hundreds of streets and homes were set ablaze, with the event a turning point in the planning of major cities in the UK.
Due to the predominant style of building wooden-framed homes up to this point in time, the blaze caused widespread damage, with the only buildings to survive the fire being those that were built from stone – although many of these still suffered considerable damage as the flames took hold.
Once extinguished, the considerable devastation of the fire was fully evident, although important structures like the Guildhall and St Paul’s Cathedral remained relatively unharmed.
A permanent memorial was therefore commissioned, with the design falling to Sir Christopher Wren, surveyor general to King Charles II and the architect of nearby St Paul’s.
The design of The Monument was decided as a Doric column in the antique tradition, with the plans incorporating a cantilevered stone staircase of 311 steps leading to a viewing platform at its summit.
Today, The Monument remains as a reminder of these dark days for the city of London and continues to draw crowds of thousands of visitors every year eager to learn more about this important event in the capital’s rich history.
Other nearby attractions
It is not just The Monument that attracts visitors to this bustling part of the English capital though, with an array of other nearby excellent sights to see and activities to enjoy for London guests:
- Tower of London (0.4 miles, seven minutes’ travel time on foot)
- The Museum of London (0.9 miles, 19 minutes)
- London Bridge Experience (0.4 miles, eight minutes)
- Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret (0.4 miles, nine minutes)
- Imperial War Museum (0.7 miles, 13 minutes)
- The Clink Prison Museum (0.6 miles, 12 minutes)
- Tower Bridge (0.8 miles, 15 minutes)
- St Paul’s Cathedral (0.6 miles, 13 minutes)
- Bank of England Museum (0.3 miles seven minutes)
- Tate Modern (one mile, 19 minutes)
Visitor info for The Monument
- 9.30 am to 6:00 pm daily (last admission 5.30 pm)
- From October to March opening times are:
- 9.30 am to 5.30 pm daily (last admission 5 pm)
Admission for adults will cost £4, while concessions can gain entry for £2.70. Tickets for children aged under 16 are £2. All children aged 13 and under must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Anyone planning a visit to The Monument might like to make use of the English capital’s outstanding array of public transport services, with the London Underground one of the most iconic and simple-to-use means for getting about the city.
Tube stations located in the vicinity of The Monument include:
- Mansion House (Circle and District lines)
- Bank (Central and Northern lines)
- Moorgate (Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan and Northern lines)
- Liverpool Street Underground Station (Central, Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines)
- Aldgate (Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines)
- Aldgate East (Circle, District and Hammersmith & City lines)
- Tower Hill (Circle and District lines)
- London Bridge (Jubilee and Northern lines)
Meanwhile, travellers heading into the capital from further afield might like to make use of overground rail links at the nearby London Bridge, Fenchurch Street or Tower Gateway DLR stations.
Finally, London bus services operate around the clock to give easy access to this busy part of the capital – routes 17, 521, 21, 43, 133, 141, 48 and 149. Road users might like to make use of the extensive parking options in the area (although motorists are advised that roads can be congested, especially during the busy morning and evening rush hours).