The Great Fire of London began 2 September 1666 in a baker's shop on Pudding Lane. Four days later, the fire had spread throughout the city and consumed over 13,000 buildings. The fire cost the British government £10 million. That's in seventeenth century currency. In modern currency, the number is too terrifying to imagine.
The Monument to the Great Fire, commonly referred to as just The Monument, was built on the site of St. Margaret's church, the first of many churches to burn in the fire. The site is just over 200 feet from the baker's shop where the fire began. The Monument, and the brass orb that sits on top, were designed by Christopher Wren and built between 1671 and 1677. Wren had many different ideas for the brass sculpture that would rest on the monument, including a statue of King Charles II, a woman wielding a sword, and, his personal favorite, a phoenix triumphantly rising from the flames. How metal. What a shame Christopher Wren didn't live to see an Iron Maiden concert. That's the tragedy no one ever talks about.