London Stone

London Stone, seen through its protective grille
111 Cannon Street and London Stone in October 2012. The ground floor was then occupied by a branch of WHSmith.

London Stone is a historic landmark traditionally housed at 111 Cannon Street in the City of London. It is an irregular block of oolitic limestone measuring 53 × 43 × 30 cm (21 × 17 × 12"), the remnant of a once much larger object that had stood for many centuries on the south side of the street. Currently the stone is housed at the Museum of London pending reconstruction of the 111 Cannon Street building. [1]

The name "London Stone" was first recorded around the year 1100. The date and original purpose of the Stone are unknown, although it is possibly of Roman origin, and there has been interest and speculation about it since at least the 16th century. There are modern claims that it was formerly an object of veneration, or has some occult significance. These assertions however, are completely unsubstantiated.

Description

The present London Stone is only the upper portion of a once much larger object, as described below under History. The surviving portion is a block of oolitic limestone approximately 53 cm wide, 43 cm high, and 30 cm front to back (21 × 17 × 12 inches). [2] A study in the 1960s indicated that the stone is Clipsham Limestone, a good-quality stone from Rutland transported to London for building purposes in both the Roman and medieval periods. [3] More recently Kevin Hayward has suggested that it may be Bath stone, the stone most used for monuments and sculpture in early Roman London and in Saxon times. [4]

Between 1962 and 2016 London Stone was located on the north side of Cannon Street, opposite Cannon Street station, housed in an aperture in the wall of number 111 Cannon Street (London EC4N 5AR), surrounded by a decorative Portland stone fascia with an iron grille. Inside the building it was protected by a glass case. The stone and its surround, with the iron grille, were designated a Grade II* listed structure on 5 June 1972. [5] [6]

A bronze plaque on the sloping top of the casing, dating from 1962, read:

LONDON STONE

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. Swithun London Stone which stood here until demolished in 1962.

Its origin and purpose are unknown but in 1188 there was a reference to Henry, son of Eylwin de Lundenstane, subsequently Lord Mayor of London. [2]

The stone is now on display at the Museum of London. [7] [8]

Other Languages
беларуская: Лонданскі камень
Deutsch: London Stone
español: London Stone
français: London stone
Gaeilge: Cloch Londain
magyar: Londoni kő
Nederlands: London Stone