We’ve featured the London Stone a couple of times previously, but it seems you can’t keep a good stone down! Let’s face it, anything that can withstand the constant building and rebuilding that goes on in the City of London for as long as it has, has to be admired and celebrated.
This time, it’s the turn of the Londonist web site to bring our attention once more to the plight of this remarkable symbol of London’s endurance. Whilst the article doesn’t bring much new to the debate, it does highlight just exactly what a mess the whole planning process is in.
As regular readers will guess when it comes to taking sides, our stance is that the stone has moved in the past, but enough is enough. It should remain part of the infrastructure of the City where it currently is, and not be exhibited and gawped at like one of Britain’s Secret Treasures in a museum display.
While there is precedent for moving the relic, critics say Minerva’s plans would remove the Stone from the fabric of the City streets and make it little more than a lobby decoration. “Minerva’s grand design finally removes London Stone from the built environment,” blogger Diamond Geezer wrote when the plan was announced. “It’ll become a showcased exhibit — an ancient relic in a glass cage — rather than part of the everyday fabric of the city.”
English Heritage are inclined to agree. “We would question the concept of displaying the Stone at a new location and in a raised position within a modern glass case,” EH told us. “In our view, this would harm the significance of the Grade II* listed object, and there are no public benefits to the proposal that outweigh this harm.”
“Our preference would be for the setting and presentation of the Stone to be enhanced once the current building at No. 111 Cannon Street is redeveloped. At present, we are not convinced of the justification to remove the Stone to its proposed position in the Walbrook Building.”