Frank Hudgell was the Keeper of The Monument
for a number of years.
The Monument was built to commemorate the great fire
of London which started in the early hours
of 2nd September 1666 in a bakery in Pudding
Lane. The fire lasted three days and
divested four- fifths of the medieval city
including 13,000 houses and 87 churches , but
only nine people perished in the fire. It
was built by Sir Christopher Wren who also
built St Paul's Cathedral which is nearby.
The Monument is topped with a flaming urn of
gilt bronze, the idea of Robert Knowles, a
friend of Wren's. In its time the Monument
was the tallest isolated stone column in the
world, sited on the direct approach to old
London Bridge, a few steps downstream from
its modern counterpart.
Around the column's base are relief's
depicting Charles II restoring the city. The
Great Fire had swept away the capital's
medieval timber buildings giving the
opportunity to replace them in a style more
suited to a new commercial era.
There are 311 steps to the top of the
column. In 1842 the viewing platform was
entirely enclosed with iron railings after
the Monument became a notorious place for