Last weekend in London when the sun was shining (that doesn’t happen often!) Jess, Mum and I decided to walk up the Monument. If you didn’t already know, it is a big stone sculpture, six and a half metres tall, with a viewing platform at the top and it was built in memory of The Great Fire of London in 1666.The Monument took 11 years to make and cost £13,450. It was made by Sir Christopher Wren, the person behind St Paul’s Cathedral, and Dr Robert Hooke.
The height of the monument is 202 feet exactly because if you pushed it over at a particular angle (that would be quite hard) it would land at exactly the spot where the fire started in Thomas Farriner’s bakery on Pudding Lane.
There are text and drawings on the side of the Monument (at the bottom) which most people miss, but you should check them out because they are cool. The words are in Latin so if you don’t know the language, then read the translation below. They tell you about what happened and why the Monument was put up.
Walking up and down 311 steps – 622 altogether – may be quite a strain but the view at the top is magnificent. You can see the whole of London and unlike the Shard it has a proper purpose other than just a good view.
I also found out a lot of information on our trip. As well as a Monument of the Great Fire, lots of people thought it could be used for science experiments. Some thought they could use it for gravity tests, while other wanted to use it as a giant telescope.
Another interesting fact I learnt was that in 1814, a donkey was led up and down the Monument without tripping once. I think that’s pretty impressive.Although quite a short experience, we thought our visit to the Monument was brilliant fun and cheap. It costs just £2 for children and £4 for adults and you can also buy an interesting leaflet for £2, it includes facts about the monument and the Great Fire of London as well as a 360 degree photo explaining the different things you can see from the top.
After your visit (make sure you are given your certificate for making it up to the top), you should definitely go and walk up Pudding Lane (which sadly, we learnt, is not named after the yummy puddings we love to eat, but after the bits of meat would fall from the carts coming down the lane from the butchers’ market to the Thames). It is only a short walk away and although it is not a great big thing like a museum, it is epic standing where the great fire started.
The Monument is situated right next Bank/Monument Station (Northern Line and District and Circle tube lines), and is at the junction of Monument Street and Fish Street Hill. It is open from April to September from 9.30 to 6pm and from October to March from 9.30am to 5.30pm.