St Georges obelisk - why?

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Thursday 30 October 2003 2.13pm
On my way home last night I first noticed the inscription on the obelisk at St George's Circus.

It has a date (that I can't remember), and the information that it marked a distance of 1 mile from (something very like, if not exactly like) "the court of the Palace of Westminster".

Does anyone know:

- why this is a significant distance?

- why would anyone build such a big obelisk to mark it (it must have cost a lot of cash and effort)?

- who built it?

- if this obelisk marks 1m in one direction, are there other similar ones in other parts of London?

All ideas gratefully received.



...if you press it, they will come.
Thursday 30 October 2003 3.25pm
The obelisk was put there by the Blackfriars Bridge committee, who were responsible for the layout of St George's Circus.

If you look at the other side, it says it is 1 mile 350 feet from Fleet Street, and 1 mile 40 feet from London Bridge...

I have some more info on this obelisk at home - I will see if I can dig it out.
Thursday 30 October 2003 3.46pm
See also http://www.aaron.atte.southwerk.mcmail.com/AaronFrames/HstOblsk.htm



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Thursday 30 October 2003 3.47pm
Oh, thanks LMJJ (you are a mine of info today - bless you). I've probably never seen the other side because of the way the traffic gets filtered.

It's still an odd thing to commemorate, don't you think? (Or maybe I should put an obelisk up outside our place to commemorate the fact that it's about 98.359 metres (I'm making that up, obviously, since in my day we had imperial - and since I can't estimate yards either) from the Roebuck?).



...if you press it, they will come.
Thursday 30 October 2003 3.59pm
Also what's the story behind the extra pillars next to - I think - Blackfriars Bridge?
Thursday 30 October 2003 4.04pm
See http://www.touruk.co.uk/london_bridges/blackfriarsrailway_bridge1.htm

I can just about remember the removal of the bridge (I was only 3 at the time though!)

James



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Thursday 30 October 2003 5.02pm
this is great - a local history thread. There must be tons of interesting stuff that lots of people don't know about in SE1 (or maybe it's just me)

James, are you going to start a sideline in guided tours with added boyhood memories ;-)



...if you press it, they will come.
Thursday 30 October 2003 7.18pm
Two thoughts...

(i) Is the obelisk the only monument in London to have been removed from its original location (I think the Victorians considered it to be a traffic obstruction) and then returned to its original site?

[The Eleanor Cross at Charing Cross is a Victorian pastiche and
the sundial pillar at Seven Dials is a modern reproduction]

(ii) Is there a campaign group to save the Duke of Clarence from the South Bank Uni's expansion plans? It provided a wonderful backdrop to the obelisk in the brief few years between the obelisk coming back and the pub closing.
Friday 31 October 2003 9.27am
Rabbie,

Wouldn't we have taken down a lot of famous monuments during wartime? I know my parents have a photo of my a distant relation as one of a team of workers replacing a statue of King Billy in Hull after the war. Apparently it had been in safekeeping during the war and was put up again afterwards.

And does Eros count as one that's been taken down and put up again (or is it now a new statue?)



...if you press it, they will come.
Friday 31 October 2003 5.59pm
Eros, or the Shaftesbury Monument as it was originally called, is allegedly the original and made out of aluminium - very 'spensive at the time.
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