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London Stone

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London Stone (it doesn't like to be called 'the' London Stone) is said to be the place from which the Romans measured all distances in Britannia. Some even claim it is the stone from which Arthur London Stone: a fragment of the much larger stone which reputedly marked road distances in Roman Britannia.pulled Excalibur, but, this is highly unlikely. It is set into a wall, with an iron grill surround on Cannon Street, in the City of London.

Whatever its origins, London Stone was for many hundreds of years recognised as the symbolic authority and heart of the City of London. It was the place where deals were forged and oaths were sworn. It was also the point from which official proclamations were made. Jack Cade, popular leader of those who rebelled against Henry VI in 1450, observed the tradition by striking his sword against it as a symbol of sovereignty after his forces entered London; on striking the stone, he then felt emboldened to declare himself "Lord of the City".

London Stone was originally situated in the middle of Cannon Street and was much larger than it is now. Later the Stone was set into the wall of St Swithin's Church which was on this site before it was bombed during the Second World War (the stone remarkably and a somewhat creepily - was left unscathed).

Like the Ravens of the Tower of London, there is a myth that states the Stone's safety is linked to that of the city itself; "So long as the stone of Brutus is safe, so long shall London flourish". This relates to the myth that the stone was part of an altar built by Brutus of Troy, the legendary founder of London. Again, likely to be no more than rumour.

The new 'Cannon Place' development has expressed an interest in giving pride of place to this forgotten monument, which would return it to its exact location.  Negotiations are still ongoing, so hopefully it will get the attention - a 2,000 year old artefact rightfully deserves. With this plan to move the stone and the current rollercoaster fortunes of the City of London - here's hoping they don't drop it.



Currently:  London Stone, 111 Cannon Street, EC4N 5AR.

Cannon Street Tube.


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