London – Science Museum (Fire Damaged Stones from St. Paul’s)

I sometimes look at exhibits in museums and feel that I find them unusually interesting, although I assume that so did a curator at some stage. In this case, it’s some old bits of stone. There’s a slightly tenuous link in my mind to the Science Museum, but these are fire damaged stones from St. Paul’s Cathedral. The building was destroyed in 1666 during the Great Fire of London, being replaced in the late seventeenth century by the current cathedral, designed by Sir Christopher Wren.

There was talk of repairing the previous Cathedral following the fire, with some remedial repairs being undertaken. But, it was felt that a modern and new design was needed, although demolishing the building was challenging since the stone had become fused together by molten lead. So, the authorities had a great idea to use gunpowder to blow the remaining parts of the cathedral up, making the removal much easier. Anyway, to cut a long story short, after several deaths, many noise complaints and damaged neighbouring buildings, Wren had enough of the chaos and brought battering rams onto the site to attack it that way.

I’m not quite sure at what stage the museum’s bits of stone were taken away from the site, or where they’ve been over the centuries. But, they’re very lovely, as I like history in science museums, as they can be a bit science orientated otherwise…