London Stone review (Aug 2012)
This is an old review Read my most recent review here
And the award for the most disappointing ancient monument in London goes to... the London Stone.
Every guidebook mentions this and it sounds quite mythical, but take my advice... don't bother visiting it unless you happen to be walking down Cannon Street -- what a waste of time!
It's basically a little lump of rock and no one knows where it came from, but it dates all the way back to Roman times. Some people think that it marked the centre of the old city, whilst others reckon that it was part of an ancient stone circle on Ludgate Hill. Some romantic types even insist that it was the stone from which King Arthur pulled Excalibur. Owing to its enigmatic and mythological status it assumed a lot of power and authority in the City of London, and people used to come and strike it to seal a deal. Jack Cade was supposed to have hit it with his sword when he rebelled against Henry VI in 1450.
It sounds quite good, doesn't it? So why have they hidden it away behind a little grill in Cannon Street? If you didn't know what it was I guarantee that you would just walk straight past it without even noticing. And even if you saw it, you'd probably think that it was just an air vent for the office block. But even when you take the time to check it out, there's still nothing worth looking at it. Not only is it behind a thick metal grill, it's also entombed behind some dirty old glass. I couldn't see a thing. You'd have to get down on your hands and knees with a torch to see it. It's just a rock behind some dirty old glass.
If I was the Mayor of London I would haul it out and put it on display at the Musuem of London. At least then people would be able to see it. It's not even in it's original place anyway -- it used to be in the church opposite until it was bombed by the Nazis.
[Edit: I've since found out that there is supposed to be a light on inside the cage, lighting up the rock. So maybe that's why I couldn't see anything.]
I’ve been here before…
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