This week’s curiosity has a somewhat debated history. The London Stone could be easily missed in its unimposing home on Cannon Street in the City. Peer behind the metal grill and you will see a lump of stone made of oolitic limestone.
The Grade II listed stone is thought to be over 3000 years old and has survived upheaval and bombing. It has featured on maps as early as 1198 and was first written about in the 10th century. But the origins of the stone are less clear. So what was it for?
Was it part of a stone circle that once existed on Ludgate Hill? Or perhaps it was used as a Roman milestone? Some myths say it is the stone that King Arthur pulled Excalibur from, others say it was brought to London by Brutus of Troy as a temple altar. No one knows its true history but it has been a symbolic stone where laws have been passed and oaths taken. In 1450 rebel leader, Jack Cade, struck his sword on the stone to mark his sovereignty as his forces entered London.
Whatever its origins, the London Stone is certainly intriguing despite its rather mundane appearance.
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