Back in 1677, it was the tallest thing (61m/200 ft.) in town and it made people gasp. Today, it’s easy to miss. The Monument was erected to commemorate the destruction of the city by the Great Fire in 1666. Its 61m (202 ft.) height is also the distance from its base to the site of Thomas Farynor’s bakery in Pudding Lane to the east, where the conflagration began. There’s only one thing to do in this fluted column of Portland stone: Climb it. The spiral staircase of 15cm (6-in.) steps, which has no landings, gradually narrows as it ascends to the outdoor observation platform—a popular suicide spot until 1842, when a cage was installed. They’ll tell you it’s 311 steps to the top, but they’re lying. It’s 313 if you count the 2 before the box office. (Sissies can watch live pictures of the view from the base.) Go on a pleasant day unless you’d like a good wind whipping. Check out the metal band snaking down the north side; it’s a lightning rod, and it crosses along an inscription, in Latin, that blamed Catholics for starting the fire (the insult was chiseled off in 1831). It discounts tickets in combo deals with the Tower Bridge Exhibition (for both: £11 adults, £4.70 kids 5–15, £7.20 seniors/students).
Monument Street at Fish Street Hill, WC4
Our Rating Hours April–Sept daily 9:30am–6pm, Oct–Mar daily 9:30am–5:30pm, last admission 30 min. before closing Transportation Tube: Monument or Bank Phone 020/3627-2552 Prices £4 adults, £2.70 seniors/students, £2 kids under 16 Web site The Monument
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.