Monument to the Great Fire of London: Part memorial, part would-be scientific instrument

The Monument is dedicated to the Great First of London in 1666 and consists of a fluted Doric column, topped with a golden flame. It stands 202 feet high and exactly the same distance from the site of the Pudding Lane Bakery which started the fire. Hence, if the Monument were to fall due east, its top would land at the fire's source.


Like almost everything else connected to the fire, the Monument was designed by Christopher Wren, alongside Robert Hooke. Although the telescope idea never came to fruition, there are several design features built into the monument, such as a central shaft, which would allow it to be used for this or another scientific purpose if required.


Controversially, when first erected, one of the Monument's four pedestal inscriptions openly blamed the Roman Catholic's for the fire, although this was removed in 1831 for its blatant offensiveness.


Today the Monument is open to visitors and also has a panoramic camera installed at the top, allowing disabled visitors to enjoy the views without having to negotiate the 311 steps to the top.