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#139 London Stone

September 20, 2011

“What?” You scowl unappealingly. “The London Stone is hardly a cool event or place, is it? It’s a literal stone, outside Cannon Street Station.”

To which my response is: who cares? No. 140 was a crime spree. We’re really not being that picky at the moment.

London Stone! You were right, though, reader. It’s a literal stone, made of stone, as stones have a habit of being. It’s probably old, but possibly not. It lives in a little cage across the road from Cannon Street Station, set into the wall. It’s easy to miss, which is funny, because this is sort of the keystone of London.

London Stone, lurking deep in its unassuming cage on Cannon Street, waiting to lash out at random unwary passers-by. BEWARE THE STONE. Or don't - your call, really.

Legend – well, Wikipedia – says that this was the original stone from which Arthur pulled the sword (which wasn’t Excalibur – he got that one from the Lady of the Lake, who does not hang out in London.) Romans measured all distances from London from it. It’s been mentioned since the 10th Century. Remove it, and London will fall. So don’t, please.

The stone itself is every bit as exciting as you’d expect a stone to be: ie, not very, and a bit less so than that. There’s a slightly shamefaced-looking plaque next to it, mumbling about it. But I like it, because it’s a random slice of London’s arcane and unhinged history, right there on the street, passed by uncaring bankers every day. Most of the amazing things in London are laid out like this. You just have to stop and look.

The London Stone is also next to the London Stone pub. Coincidence – or mystical alignment? Because these are the only two choices here. The pub itself is a sort of cheery plastic Goth place with lots of stained glass and goblins. It’s rather fun, actually. It’s certainly better than staring at a bloody stone.

And if that coincidence isn’t creepy enough, how about this: the London Stone is situated at 211 Cannon Street. 211! Just like Sherlock Holmes’ place! 211 – just like the number of events on this blog! Eventually! ‘Tis witchcraft!*

*Okay, okay, it’s not. London Stone is actually at 111 Cannon Street. Way to spoil an unsettling coincidence, London Stone, you igneous bastard.

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