The Monument, to the Great Fire of London

Photo: Eluveitie / Wikipedia
Monument map location

Monument address and telephone

Address:
Monument is located at: Monument Street, The City,
London EC3R 8AH
England
Telephone:
You can contact Monument on Work +44 (0) 207 626 2717
Website:
The Monument website can be visited at www.themonument.info

Monument opening times and ticket price

Opening hours:
Monument is open to the public from: 9.30 AM to 6 PM (Mon-Sun, Apr-Sep); 9.30 AM to 5.30 PM (Mon-Sun, Oct-Mar); Last entry 30 mins before closing
Time required:
A typical visit to Monument lasts 45 mins (approx)
Ticket cost:
The entry price for Monument is: Adult price £4.00; Child cost £2.00 (under-16)
Visiting hours and admission charges are subject to change, and may not apply on public holidays. Always reconfirm entrance fees and whether it’s open to visitors before booking tickets and making plans to visit Monument

How to get to Monument

When visiting Monument you can use the following:
Minicabs:
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Buses:
17, 21, 43, 48, 133, 141, 149, 521
London bus fares
Trains:
Bank CNT DLR NRN W&C, Cannon Street CRC DSC, London Bridge JUB NRN, Monument CRC DSC
If you want to visit Monument by train then the nearest underground station to Monument is Monument
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Monument Easy to get to? Good for kids? Value for money? Worth a visit?203

 From Monument The City

 

Who built The Monument to the Great Fire of London?

The Monument to the Great Fire of London was built to commemorate the devastating fire in 1666. It was designed by Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke, and its height is 203-feet from top to bottom – the exact distance from its base to the baker’s in Pudding Lane, where the Great Fire of London broke out.

The Monument’s inscriptions

Inscriptions on The Monument in London

The inscription on the north face describes how the Great Fire of London started, and the the south face shows Charles II taking action to douse the flames. The words on the east face describe how The Monument was built by Christopher Wren. The remaining side describes the destruction wrought by the Great Fire.

An extra message was chiselled on in 1681 to try and blame the fire on the Catholics, but this was removed in 1831 when Catholics were given equal rights.

Craig’s review of The Monument

This review originally appeared in his London blog

If you’ve got three quid in your pocket, half hour to spare, and don’t mind giving yourself a heart attack then try climbing up The Monument. You have to go through the little door at the front where a little old lady is wedged into a cubby hole about the size of a shoebox. Then she points you to the stairs and that is when you start regretting it.

Observation balcony at the top of The Monument

The little leaflet says there’s only 311 steps but I think they must have miscounted because it seemed like a bazillion to me. The little stone steps wind tightly up the column for a million miles and it just goes on forever and ever. I thought I was going to come out onto the surface of the moon, that is how long it took me to climb it.

There are a few little window ledges dotted around that you can sit on to get your breath back, but if you are unlucky enough to get a bunch of tourists coming down you have to dice with death and hug the wall while they squeeze past.

When I got to the top I had a pair of jelly legs that no longer worked, and I felt like I’d just run the London Marathon. I guess I must be pretty unfit. Apparently suicidal people used to come up here and hurl themselves off the top, but I reckon a few of them must have died on the way up.

View at the top of The Monument in London

View from The Monument

When I got to the top it was a bit disappointing, to be honest. The whole viewing platform is enclosed in a tight wire mesh, so you can’t even get a decent picture.

They’ve got a few coin operated telescopes in the corners so you can view the edge of the earth, but there’s not many landmarks in range. Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast are quite close, but the Tower of London is pretty much blocked off by offices.

View from the top of The Monument

You can see the Gherkin and a few skyscrapers in The City, but the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral is about the size of a 5p piece. As for anything further than Blackfriars bridge, forget it. The Monument is in the heart of The City so it’s just office blocks all round.

The climb back down is a lot easier, thank God, especially if you just roll all the way down. And the little old lady gives you a nice little certificate to prove to the world that you were daft enough to climb ten miles to the top.

Craig’s review of Pudding Lane

What a disappointment! There’s nothing here.

Great Fire of London in Pudding Lane

Pudding Lane is the kind of street that people pass through on the way to somewhere else. Half of the people who walk down here probably don’t even realise its significance because there’s nothing around to tell them (apart from The Monument next-door, of course). It’s just a quiet side street between a load of concrete office blocks – it hasn’t even got any shop fronts in it. There’s a clanky old metal shutter into an underground car park… a few postie vans parked up whilst the delivery men deliver their parcels… a bicycle rack… two women on a fag break… two pigeons swanning about like they own the place… some litter… a lamppost… and me.

I’ve just had a great idea… let’s burn it down again! Let’s get that baker bloke back and ask him to start a new inferno. Fire up your cakes, mate, I’d say, and make sure that there’s nobody upstairs this time. Once we’ve levelled it flat again we can build a big museum about the Great Fire of London, right next door to Christopher Wren’s Monument – and turn Pudding Lane into the tourist attraction that it’s supposed to be.

Monument to the Great Fire of London

Craig’s London blog> Read Craig’s latest review of The Monument  “I climbed up The Monument yesterday – never again. I’m done with stairs. I’m not climbing up any stairs ever again. After two minutes my heart was pounding loud enough to make a sound – it was the drumming percussion to my shuffling huffs and puffs. My chest was thumping, my legs were shaking, my head was sweating… continued.”

Craig’s London blog> Read Craig’s latest review of Pudding Lane  “It’s not often that lowly nobodies like me get the opportunity to change history, but if I was strolling down the river 350 years ago I could have smelt the burning buns, nipped into the bakers and said, “oy, mate… your cakes are on fire!”, and saved London from destruction. Because Thomas Faryner burnt more than a cake that day – he burnt the entire town down to the ground… continued.”

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If you enjoy visiting The Monument in London then there are plenty more observation platforms in London. Check out view from the Sky Garden nearby, and the roof of One New Change. Or you can cross over the river and climb to the top of The Shard. There are plenty more viewing spots on our page of great views in London.


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> Talk about The Monument in the forum

 
  •  Guest – “It was a great place to go when I was a child. I was very thankful for the enclosing cage on the viewing platform - for fear of falling which I might have done.. With such weak legs after climbing 300+ steps. This is not a "one-off" place to go.. Just take it in with a walking tour from the tower to st. Pauls, the old bailey and the old lady of threadneedle street if you like. It's a great part of London's history.. So why not eh ?”
  • JP1964 – “I quite liked the views from here. It's nice looking out over the offices and buildings and watching the world go by. If you use one of the little telescopes then you can literally see everything that is going on like a spy, I had a good nose into the windows to see people doing their work. The good thing is you can stay up there as long as you want. There's not much room up there because its only a little narrow walkway that goes all the way round, but its not so high that you feel like its swaying about, like big buildings do these days. Its a sturdy bit of stone. They dont build them like they used to!.”

If you enjoy the Monument view, then you might also like the viewing platforms at:

> One New Change One New Chane is a normal shopping centre… with a fantastic view of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
> Westminster Cathedral Westminster Cathedral is not as famous as the Abbey, but is worth a visit just for the high tower.
> The Shard The Shard is one of London’s newest landmarks, towering more than 1000ft above Southwark.
> St. Paul’s Cathedral St. Paul’s Cathedral, built after the Great Fire in 1666, boasts the second largest dome in Europe.
 

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