The 75 foot (23.3 metre) tall Corinthian column of Portland stone, which was designed by Whitfield Architects and erected in 2003, is topped by a gold leaf covered flaming copper urn which is lit up at night.
While it has been said that the column is “purely decorative”, the developers of Paternoster Square claim on their website that it actually serves several purposes in this case including both commemorative and practical.
Not only is it part of the ventilation system for the carpark underneath, they say its design is apparently a recreation of columns designed by Inigo Jones for the west portico of Old St Paul’s Cathedral.
And then there’s the three metre high urn on top which, not unlike that found on The Monument, they say commemorates the fact the site of the square has twice been destroyed by fire – the first time in the Great Fire of 1666 and the second in the Blitz during World War II.
The area around Paternoster Square was once home to booksellers and publishers’ warehouses.