London – Monument – St Katherines Dock – 22.09.2011

London’s burning, London’s burning.
Fetch the engines, fetch the engines.
Fire fire, Fire Fire!
Pour on water, pour on water.
London’s burning, London’s burning.

I was standing beneath the “Monument”, a large Doric column commemorating the “Great Fire of London” of 1666. This magnificent piece of architecture was designed and built by Christoper Wren (who was also responsible for the rebuilding of St Paul’s Cathedral and his colleague Dr Robert Hooke. The monument stands ~61m (202ft) and if I had time to there are even steps inside the column to climb to a viewing Platform!

The monument is situated in “Pudding Lane” where it has been established that the great fire began September 1666. Amazing to think how one small fire in a bakers shop spread so rapidly to cause so much damage in a city. The fire burned for approximately 3 days, bringing all the city to a halt, destroying hundreds buildings in its wake, although it was recorded that there was little loss of life. Turning away from the monument, I found A small plaque tucked away on one of the office buildings, serving as a another reminder of what had happened. This had been commissioned by the Company of Bakers on 500th Anniversary of the fire.

From 2011 – 22.09.2011 – London Walk

I headed away from all these memories of the fire of London, to walk towards the River. I did notice a Church on my way, St Magnus the Martyr. It is not unusual to find churches in London, but this one has a small plaque noting that the roadway approach to the “Old London Bridge”, which used to go through the churchyard.  This Church once stood at one approaches to one of the busiest bridges in London for bringing people into City (and also leaving it!).  I did not actually visit the bridge today, as I did not have time,  and dare I say it a bridge is not all that exciting to look at!  However, I  have since learned that at one point the Bridge was more like one long street of old houses hanging over the river, something I could have imagined in Harry Potter 🙂 !

The Thames Path took me past the Churchyard and eventually out to the Thames Riverside. Despite the white fluffy clouds, the river really sparkled in the sunshine, and it was really nice to be able to enjoy a stroll along this magnificent river. The path bears all the reminders of the Rivers industrious path, with the various “Wharf’s” names, and even the old dock crane still exists. It was not long before the path reached the famous “Billingsgate Market”.

This beautiful and ornate building, topped by golden fish, was once the famous fish market in London.  The market started in humble origins where fish was sold in at the Dockside in Billingsgate.  A new purpose built market was built in 1850, however this became inadequate and had to be replaced. This was amazing building was to be it’s replacement. It was designed by the City Architect, Sir Horace Jones and was built by John Mowlem in 1873, opening 3 years later. I must admit it didn’t look like a market to me, more like a palace! The actual fish market has been relocated to Poplar, so this wonderful building is now used for more upmarket purposes like filming and banqueting. Hopefully the only reminder that this was an old fish market are the golden fish on the roof and there are no lingering smells in the building lol 🙂

From 2011 – 22.09.2011 – London Walk

As I left the market behind, it was nice to stroll along the river in the warm autumn sunshine. Across the river the HMS Belfast is moored up. No longer in service it is a just a visitor attraction. I think I will go into more details the next time. I finally reached the entrance of the Tower of London. I had come across a wire statue of Lion representing the “Fearsome entrance”. It did remind me of the wire structure I found near Waterloo bridge.

I managed to have a glimpse inside the wonderful “All Hallows By the Tower” church which is rich in history. Although I didn’t have much time, I was still able to capture an image of the amazing carving that was over a stone font at the back of the church. The stained glass window that was behind it remains a mystery as to me who actually created it. I had to leave the church to continue my journey onwards. The walk took me on to the riverside which is littered with “saluting batteries” (no not duracell batteries!) Just guns that were used to salute the navy/royalty coming into the Tower by the Thames.

I then past the famous “Traitors Gate”, where both wives of Henry VIII; Queen Anne Boleyn and Queen Catherine Howard had both entered the Tower via the gate never to return. However Princess Elizabeth, who was sent to the Tower, with no choice but to enter by the gate only remained in the tower for 8 weeks – she went on to reign over England for 44 years!

From 2011 – 22.09.2011 – London Walk

The walk took me under the amazing Tower Bridge. This bridge was built as there due to an increased demand in crossing across the Thames, particularly as in late 1870’s the there was a distinct lack of crossing east of “London Bridge”. It was interesting to find out that one men who designed Tower Bridge Horace Jones was the same man who designed “Billingsate Market” what an amazing architect he was turning out to be 🙂 (John Wolfe Barry is the other architect responsible for Tower Bridge) The bridge took 8 years to build and has over 11,000 tons of steel in the construction and is an incredible feat of design and technical engineering.

As I passed underneath I came across “Dead Mans Hole”. “Dead Mans Hole” seems like a very gruesome name – that’s probably because it is! Its name originates from where they collected the dead bodies that were dumped into the river Thames not only from the Tower of London but from the surrounding districts. That is just gross!

The path passed by a lovely brass statue of a dolphin but sadly there was not explanation as to what it was about or who had created it :-(. As I carried on I had realised I was in St Katherines Dock and I was also on the Thames Path national Trail. St Katherines Dock used to trade in goods such as spices, tea, sugar, perfumes and even the shot of rum! Now the area is more suited to luxury yachts and for tourists.

It was nearing the end of my walk, but before I did managed to capture a photo of St Olaves Church where Samuel Pepys, a world famous diary writer or should I say the world first blogger!!!  I was also intrigued to note that Mother Goose attended this little church 🙂 .

It was here I ended my walk and had my lunch :-). But please feel free to look at all my photos for the walk –

2011 – 22.09.2011 – London Walk



4 responses to “London – Monument – St Katherines Dock – 22.09.2011

  1. Pingback: Thames Path – St Katherine’s Dock – London Wall « Karen's Sponsored Walks

  2. Pingback: Trelawne – Looe Walk – 01.05.2012 « Karen's Sponsored Walks

  3. Pingback: Stanmore – Borehamwood Walk – 15.07.2012 « Karen's Sponsored Walks

  4. Pingback: London Walk – Liverpool Street – Victoria – 05.04.2014 « Karen's Sponsored Walks

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