Monument to the Great Fire of London
I'm fascinated by this because I can't bring myself to climb 311 steps. I could do it if I was one of a few but it's always so crowded. I was determined to do it this time but as usual chickened out.
The Monument comprises a fluted Doric column built of Portland stone topped with a gilded urn of fire. It was designed by Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke. Its height marks its distance from the site of the shop of Thomas Farynor, the king's baker, where the Great Fire began. The top of the Monument is reached by a narrow winding staircase of 311 steps. A mesh cage was added in the mid-19th century at the top to prevent people jumping off.
The first Rebuilding Act, passed in 1669, stipulated that "the better to preserve the memory of this dreadful visitation", a column of either brass or stone should be set up on Fish Street Hill, on or near the site of Farynor's bakery, where the fire began. Christopher Wren, as surveyor-general of the King's Works, was asked to submit a design. Wren worked with Robert Hooke on the design of the monument. It is impossible to disentangle the collaboration between Hooke and Wren, but Hooke’s drawings of possible designs for the column still exist, with Wren’s signature on them indicating his approval of the drawings rather than their authorship. It was not until 1671 that the City Council approved the design, and it was another six years before the 202 ft column was complete. Wikipedia