Friday, 17 December, 2010

Walk along the London Bridge....

Thankfully the London Bridge did not topple down while we were walking along it. It was a typical grey London day, not too cold but trifle windy. Some photographs....
The Monument to the Great Fire of London, more commonly known as The Monument, is a 202 ft (61.57 metre) tall stone Roman Doric column in the City of LondonEngland, near the northern end of London Bridge. It stands at the junction of Monument Street and Fish Street Hill, 202 ft (61.57 metres) from where the Great Fire of London started in 1666. Another monument, the Golden Boy of Pye Corner marks the point near Smithfield where the fire stopped. Monument tube station is named after the monument. Constructed between 1671 and 1677, it is the tallest isolated stone column in the world. [1]
The Monument consists of a fluted Doric column built of Portland stone topped with a gilded urn of fire, and was designed by Christopher Wren andRobert Hooke. Its 202 foot (61.57 metre) height marks its distance from the site in Pudding Lane of the shop of Thomas Farynor, the king's baker, where the fire began. (Information courtesy Wikipedia. If you want to know more please click here.

 The top of the Monument is reached by a narrow winding staircase of 311 steps. A cage was added in the mid-19th century at the top of the Monument to prevent people jumping off, after six people had committed suicide between 1788 and 1842.
 Three sides of the base carry inscriptions in Latin. The one on the south side describes actions taken by Charles II following the fire. The one on the east describes how the Monument was started and brought to perfection, and under which mayors. The one on the north describes how the fire started, how much damage it caused, and how the fire was extinguished. In 1681 the words "but Popish frenzy, which wrought such horrors, is not yet quenched" were added to the end of the inscription. The inscription on the east generally blames Roman Catholics for the fire, and this promptedAlexander Pope to say of the area that it is:

Where London’s column, pointing at the skies,
Like a tall bully, lifts the head and lies." -- Moral Essays. Epistle iii. Line 339 (1733-1734).
The words were chiselled out in 1831.
The west side of the base displays a sculpture, by Caius Gabriel Cibber, in alto and bas relief, of the destruction of the City; with King Charles II, and his brother, James, the Duke of York (later James II) surrounded by LibertyArchitecture, and Science, giving directions for its restoration.

The actual is curiously modern and a big let down. I am told the bridge seeping in history is actually the Tower Bridge. A trek there is on the cards.
 View of River Thames and the Tower Bridge in the distance.
Gulls in the water, I am sure attacking fishes, if there are any...
 I love these double decker sight seeing buses....they can be seen all over central London....

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