17.6.10

London’s Stone Heart.





A little time ago I read a compelling tale that took me on a frenzied rampage through London. I learned many valuable things about the city on this roller coaster ride and one lesson haunted me so much so that I felt compelled to seek it out.

Go grab yourself a cuppa whatever and join me….

What is this??

You may glare at me in disbelief if I told you that encapsulated behind that rusty metal grill (complete with wedged in cigarette packets), fixed to an abandoned building that is ear marked for demolition on a commonplace kerbside; lies the ancient and mysterious heart of London.

Known as The London Stone, it has survived fire, flood, bombing and everyday life for centuries to end up in this sad lowly fate. Throughout history The London Stone was a place of prominence steeped in myth and legend let me share some with you:

It is said that The London Stone’s origins are associated with the mythical Brutus of Troy who set in place to protect the City.

It is said that The London Stone is the place from which the Romans measured all distances in Brittania.

It is said that Queen Elizabeth I's adviser and occultist, John Dee, was obsessed by the stone, believing that it had magic powers.

Legend claims it was the Ancient Stone from which King Arthur pulled Excalibur.

It was mentioned by Shakespeare who depicted the 15th Century peasants' rebellion leader, Jack Cade, striking the London stone as a symbolic sign of taking control of the city.

It was mentioned by William Blake

"They groan'd aloud on London Stone
They groan'd aloud on Tyburn's Brook
Albion gave his deadly groan,
And all the Atlantic mountains shook."

Yet despite all it’s once prestigious claims. The stone lies desolate and it makes my heart sink each time I pass it. For let us not forget what Brutus’ Legend says:


"So long as the stone of Brutus is safe, so long shall London flourish"


There is talk about moving the stone to the Museum of London. I hope that doesnt happen. For that would mean moving something from its symbolic home. I wish they would just mark this spot appropriately. Light it more empathetically and treat it with more respect.


The plaque on the stone reads:


This is a fragment of the original piece of limestone once securely fixed in the ground now fronting Cannon Street Station.

Removed in 1742 to the north side of the street, in 1798 it was built into the south wall of the church of St. Swithin which stood here until demolished in 1962.

14 comments:

  1. I really love your history posts and this one made the hairs on my arms stand on end.
    I cant believe that this most important piece of history looks so abandoned. Do you know what they are going to do with it when they pull the rest of the building down? I can imagine how you feel seeing it so neglected every day. Now I know about it I want to go and see it for real. Thank you so much for telling us about it.
    Maybe we should start a petition to save the Heart of London. Xxxx

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  2. Fashionistable.

    Sad isn't it? Remarkable that so few know about it. There is talk about it being moved to the Museum of London and talk about it being set into a place in the New Cannon St Station.

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  3. This is so heartbreaking. I hate it when things that are that beautiful and interesting and important get forgotten. Thanks for helping to keep it alive - and I hope it gets a better new home!

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  4. Wow. How did you find this gem? Can you put more of these stories in your blog. Please.I found this so mysterious and interesting.More more.

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  5. This is why london is so interesting, all the crooks and crannies hide history. =)

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  6. I love this kind of stuff......how sad that it wasn't given that importance nowadays...how it is abandoned....I hope they would make a way to treasure things that are part of the history...

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  7. Oh my..how intriguing!! Why is it that all of the truly important monuments are treated with such disrespect..??

    I want to learn more...off to google I go. Thank you for this..

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  8. Hearts do not belong in museums.
    This heart belongs to the city and if the city doesn't appreciate it, maybe it isn't worthy of one...
    I agree, it's too sad.

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  9. I must pay a visit to London's Stone Heart! Hope it will not be moved to the museum!!!

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  10. It's going to lose it's magic when moved.

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  11. Oh my what an interesting story! I too hope that they don't move it, although... moving it to a location in a museum where it will be cared for and shared with forever is still better than being destroyed in its current location. London is full of old secrets and stories. Love it. And love your nails in the earlier post! :)

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  12. SAVE THE LONDON STONE! shall we start a petition??

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  13. i do love those places with historical significance!!
    but once you move it to a museum the meaning does not seems there be there anymore~~

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  14. How sad :( I hope they don't move it

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