Better to preserve the memory of this dreadful visitation

What is London’s tallest column? My first thought was Nelson’s Column – it is certainly the most prominent of London’s vertiginous monuments. Nope – at just over 169 ft tall, it doesn’t even come close. Okay, then – what its plainer, thicker cousin further along the Mall. The Duke of York’s Column? Getting colder – this plain lump of a monument is just over 137 ft tall (including the statue which, as wits soon had it, was placed far enough away to allow his royal ‘highness’ to escape his many creditors).

The answer is the Monument, the unambiguously named monument to the Great Fire of London. It stands 202 ft high, which makes the Monument the tallest ‘isolated stone column’ in the world. IN THE WORLD! That is, until they build a taller one somewhere on the Arabian Peninsula or China.

But, for the moment, London can bask in the glory of its world-record beating column.

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