1666 and all that…


As most British people will have learned in their school history lessons, Pudding Lane is the place where the Great Fire of London broke out in 1666. The fire, which started in a baker’s shop, burned out of control for several days and destroyed huge parts of the ancient city. There is now a plaque marking the exact spot where the baker’s shop was situated.

Towering over this famous spot is The Monument (pictured), created by Christopher Wren at the request of King Charles II to commemorate those who perished in the fire – and also to give hope to residents that the city would soon rise again.

This magnificent construction, said to be the world’s tallest single-column structure, is 202 feet tall – the exact distance from the base of the column to the origin of the Great Fire. Visitors can climb the 311 steps to the top of the tower for fantastic views of this part of London – there is a small charge to do so. You will notice on the relief on the far side of the monument that the King, Charles II, is modeled wearing a toga. In fact, he did not normally wear Roman clothing – it was merely tradition at the time to paint or sculpt famous figures in such an outfit.

Find out more about The Great Fire of London on our City of London tour. Click here for more information

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