London Stone

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London Stone 111 Cannon Street London
Image:London stone 1.jpg
The London Stone, in context, goes unnoticed among modern advertising. (December 2005)

The London Stone is an ancient stone, that is said to be the place from which the Romans measured all distances in Great Britain.

Whether or not this is true, the London Stone was for many hundreds of years recognised as the symbolic authority and heart of the City of London. It was the place that deals were forged, and oaths were sworn. It was also the point from which official proclamations were made. Jack Cade, popular leader of those who rebelled against Henry VI in 1450, observed the tradition by striking his sword against it as a symbol of sovereignty after his forces entered London; on striking the stone, he then felt emboldened to declare himself lord of the city.

The Stone was originally in the middle of Cannon Street and was much larger than it is now [1]. Later the Stone was set into the wall of St Swithin's Church which was on this site before it was bombed during the Second World War (the Stone remarkably left unscathed).

The stone sits in a glass case behind an ornate metal grille (mainly overlooked by passers-by) in the front of a sporting goods store opposite Cannon Street Station, in Cannon Street in the City of London. A better view of it can be had within the shop, though it is rather incongruous in its low case surrounded by cricket equipment. The building containing the store is due to be demolished and planning is currently under way to ensure the stone's survival, initially by removing it to the Museum of London.

There is also a pub nearby called "The London Stone", which is run by the Eerie Pub Company.

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London Stone

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