Monument

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1002065

Date first listed: 19-Feb-1951

Map

Ordnance survey map of Monument
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Greater London Authority

District: City and County of the City of London (London Borough)

National Grid Reference: TQ 32924 80760

Summary

The Monument, 91m north of St Magnus the Martyr’s Church.

Reasons for Designation

A commemorative monument is a building or structure erected to commemorate a particular person or event. They include public statues and memorials, funerary monuments in churchyards and cemeteries, and war memorials, some of which provide some of our finest examples of public art. The Monument, 91m north of St Magnus the Martyr’s Church, is one of the greatest 17th century monuments of its type. It bears testament to one of the most significant events in London’s history; the Great Fire of London in 1666. Public monuments pre-dating the Georgian period are very rare, and reveal the arrival of Renaissance modes of commemoration to Britain. Such is the classical inspiration of the Monument, which stands at the head of this tradition. It has formed a landmark over the London sky line for centuries. As the tallest isolated stone column in the world it is also an important feat of 17th century engineering and architectural accomplishment.

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 3 September 2014. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes a 17th century commemorative monument and memorial to the Great Fire of London known simply as the ‘Monument’. It is situated at Monument Street near London Bridge on the north side of the Thames.

The monument includes a freestanding stone Doric column of Portland stone on a high square base or pedestal with carved reliefs. The capital supports a square balcony or gallery, with an iron railing and later cage, reached by a spiral staircase around an open well. Above the gallery, the capital is surmounted by a drum, a dome and a crowning finial formed of a flaming urn of gilt bronze symbolizing the fire. The pedestal is about 6.5m square and 12 high, with a plinth 8.5m square, and the fluted shaft is 36.5m high and 4.5m in diameter. The four dragons at the corners of the pedestal and the cartouches between them were carved by Edward Pierce. The pedestal includes three Latin inscriptions; the north side recording London’s destruction, the south its restoration, and that on the east, the years and mayoralties in which the erection of the Monument was commenced, continued and completed. On the west panel is a sculptured design by Caius Gabriel Cibber.

The Act of Parliament which provided for the rebuilding of the City of London after the Great Fire also provided for the commemoration of the fire by a monument. The Monument was erected by the City Lands Committee of the Corporation of London between 1671 and 1677 and designed by Sir Christopher Wren and Dr Robert Hooke. It is located on the site of the Church of St Margaret destroyed in the Fire. The total height is equal to the distance eastward from the site to the baker’s house in Pudding Lane where the fire began on Sunday 2nd September 1666. It stands 61m high and is the tallest isolated stone column in the world. The column was renovated in 1834 when the gilt-bronze urn was regilded. The urn was again regilded in 1954, the stone steam-cleaned and the scars caused by bomb fragments in the Second World War eradicated. Further conservation work to the finial, stone work and interior were carried out in the 1990’s and between 2007 and 2009.

The Monument is a Grade I listed building.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: LO 20

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

Sources

Websites
The Monument website, accessed . from http://www.themonument.info
Other
NMR TQ38SW156. PastScape 404688. LBS 199650.,

End of official listing