This Monument designed by Sir Christopher Wren was built to commemorate the Great Fire of London 1666 which burned for three days consuming more than 13,000 houses and devastating 436 acres of the City. The Monument is 202ft in height being equal to the distance westward from the bakehouse in Pudding Lane where the fire broke out. It took six years to construct, 1671-1677. The balcony is reached by a spiral stairway of 311 steps and affords panoramic views of the metropolis. A superstructure rises from the balcony and supports a copper vase of flames.
So reads the notice at the foot of this splendid column. After too many damp grey days over Christmas it was good to catch a few rays of sunshine and take some exercise climbing up to this great ball of fire. Maybe it’s a surrogate for our weak and elusive winter sun, and this circuit a seasonal sundance.
Back on terra firma, here’s a certificate to prove I really did go all the way up and all the way down again. And here’s a little video to show how the sunbeams are applied – Gilding The Flaming Orb