Mythic London Stone is going on show at Museum of London as current home on Cannon Street is demolished

 
Catherine Neilan
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Seen it? Maybe not, but legend has it that London Stone is actually what's keeping the capital together (Source: Wikimedia)

You've probably walked past it a thousand times without a passing glance, but an unassuming piece of limestone with a mythical back-story is to go on show at the Museum of London this week.


Cannon Street's London Stone (not The London Stone) is the surviving portion of a much larger piece, and is thought to date back to Roman times.

Although its origin and purpose are unknown, the plaque that has marked its existence since 1962 notes that it was first referenced in 1188 by Henry, son of Eylwin de Lundenstane, who subsequently became Lord Mayor of London.


Blink and you will have missed it (Source: Wikimedia)

Various myths exist about London Stone: One suggests it was used as by druids as an altar for human sacrifice, while another traces it back to the supposed founder of Britain, Brutus of Troy, with the saying “so long as the stone of Brutus is safe, so long shall London flourish”.


By the time of Elizabeth I it was a visitor attraction in its own right.

The building it is currently attached to - 111 Canon Street - is being pulled down. The new premises will include a special raised plinth, which will make a bigger deal of the block of stone.

In the meantime, it will be displayed as part of the Museum of London's War, Plague and Fire gallery.