The London stone 'just needs some love'

Mix two parts legend to one part myth, sprinkle some facts and grill for a few decades: the London Stone is London's enigmatic emblem, tightrope-walking over a sea of mystery and romance from its ersatz home on one of the city's busiest commercial streets.

Thought to be Roman in origin, the stone is said to have been the point from which all distances were measured in Londinium. Though attached with the apocryphal tale of Brutus of Troy, a medieval incarnation of Greek hero Aeneas, the stone became better known in the middle ages as a place for deal-brokering. It became notorious in 1450 when rebel Jack Cade struck it with his sword, proclaiming himself Lord of London and vowing to overthrow King Henry VI. In later years the stone's home became St Swithin's Church off Cannon Street, a Wren beauty. Yet when the church was destroyed by a German bomb in 1940 the stone found itself trapped into a tiny grill next door, where it cuts a rather odd figure today. Word has it developers plan to make it a central sight at the forthcoming Cannon Street station, but legend says that if the stone is damaged then London will fall. An odd relic, to say the least.



But what does the Stone think of us? You might think such a question is unanswerable but on Monday night a Twitter interview, or Twinterview, brought an exclusive interview with the Stone itself. And far from being rocked by qualms and queries, the Stone batted back interrogations of its past, present and future with masonic aplomb.



While some questions were irreverent - 'have you developed a shoe fetish from ground level?' ("I like to see who has odd socks on") - there were others that have been argued for centuries. How old is the Stone, really? "I'm so old I've lost my Marbles a little bit. Not unlike Greece in that respect...I can't remember my own age. There aren't really any records of me pre middle ages, yet you humans think I'm Roman!" Maybe the stone was punch-drunk 2,000 years back, by being beaten into shape by Trojan hero Brutus. "Brutus? Well, the chap was mythical yet I'm very much here. But I do like the legend."



When you're talking to a famous stone, an obvious question to ask (other than 'why am I talking to a stone?') is what it makes of its more famous rocky brethren. The Rosetta Stone? "Very sweet." What about the Blarney Stone? "Good for the craic. My favourite other Stone is Keith Richards."



Very funny - but seriously, what does it think about the Rosetta Stone bounding over here and stealing its thunder? "(The) Rosetta Stone is historically very important, but I'm London's oldest monument & have a touch of mysterious glamour," it says. And it's got a point: there is a sort of understated beauty about the London Stone - the thinking man's artefact, perhaps.



Word has it plans are afoot to move the London Stone across Cannon Street, to a shiny new eponymous underground station. Some may see it as a chance to show the Stone in a rosier shade, but it has other ideas: "I believe I should stay put, and would like humans to appreciate the history of my location, and what I've survived here."



It's clear the Stone has a chip on its, er, shoulder about its maligned recognition, something it is keen to redress. "Seriously now, anyone from London should realise I'm an important part of their heritage. I may not look much, but I AM London," it says. And while Stonehenge is "a better looker, I just want a little bit of love.". So let's get out there and give it some love, London! Yes, there are millions of pretty foreign treasures to be seen in the city, but make sure you give the London Stone some of your precious time. If you don't, someone might move it. And if the story's true, none of us wants to deal with that...

Video – Visit to the London Stone

The History of the London Stone

The Ancient World Spotted – Photography Contest

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: Data Warehouse & Business Intelligence Co-ordinator

    £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Required skills include SQL querying, SSRS, u...

    Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, PHP, HTML, JavaScript, CSS

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, HTML...

    Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst- Insurance

    Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...

    Recruitment Genius: Property Manager

    £25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent, growing Sales...

    Day In a Page

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
    There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

    In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

    The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

    It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
    The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

    Staying connected: The King's School

    The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
    Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

    Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

    Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

    The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
    Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

    When two worlds collide

    Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?