Views from the Monument

I don’t know why I don’t walk up the Monument more often. Well, I do know, it’s because it costs £3 a visit, so it would get expensive if I visited regularly.

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The “Monument”, which is the monument to the Great Fire of London (and is known to Londoners simply as the Monument), is a stone Roman Doric column in the City of London, near London Bridge. The column is built of Portland stone topped with a gilded urn of fire, and was designed by Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke.

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It is 202 ft (62 m) tall and 202 ft (62 m) from the place where the Great Fire started on 2 September 1666. Its height marks its distance from the site in Pudding Lane of the shop of Thomas Farynor, the king’s baker, where the Great Fire began.

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Constructed between 1671 and 1677, it is the tallest isolated stone column in the world and was built on the site of St. Margaret’s, Fish Street, the first church to be burnt down by the Great Fire.

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The top of the Monument is reached by a narrow winding staircase of 311 steps. It is always fun walking up as you end up plastering yourself against the wall to allow people walking down past (which is fun with a camera bag).

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At the top is a cage with (unfortunately) a wire mesh surround. I would give vast amounts of money to be able to shoot from the top without the wires being there but it is what is is.

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I always enjoy the walk if ending up a wee bit terrified (I’m scared of heights). The views are (predictably) spectacular, and quite the equal of anything you would see from the London Eye (and a good bit cheaper if more strenuous). Bit of a pity I didn’t get to shoot all of this with the 14mm (which apparently turns up tomorrow) but actually given the position of the monument 18-35mm (on APS-C) are the ideal focal lengths.

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Taken with my X-Pro1, 18mm, 18-55mm and 35mm lenses

4 thoughts

  1. Thanks for posting this, very nice. We will be visiting London end April, we just may have to add the Monument (which I’ve never heard of before). But 311 steps, and I will turn 70 the next week… we’ll see! I’ll keep looking at your blogs and posts for more inspiration.

    • Thanks John, it’s well worth a visit as the cost is trivial compared to the London Eye or the viewing platform on the Shard.

      I met a chap who was fit but looked to be over 80 on the stairs (I was going up, he was coming down) who told me I wasn’t far from the top and the views were spectacular. I told him that I knew how amazing the view is as I visit at lunchtime every 6 months or so, to which his response was that he also schedules his visits, but for every 20 years or so and this is his 4th trip! I would have loved to have seen the comparative skyline photos of that period.

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