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(Some stone column)   Closed for 130 years, a public observation tower still standing tall in central London   (ianvisits.co.uk) divider line 62
    More: Interesting, observatory, tallest structures, Trafalgar Square, the City of London, widows and orphans, ICA, Duchess of York, Whitehall  
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17611 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Oct 2012 at 12:27 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-30 12:09:59 PM
In 1844, a tall observation tower was opened to the public near to Trafalgar Square giving people a chance to look down on Pall Mall

I hear it's a smokin' place to hang out.
 
2012-10-30 12:19:55 PM
Well, they realised there was no way they could fit 10,000 men in there, so it had to be closed
 
2012-10-30 12:29:46 PM
Most of the public observation is done with cameras these days.
 
2012-10-30 12:30:39 PM
Who knew history could be so boring?
 
2012-10-30 12:33:44 PM
That's a very similar tower in NW France, which I've been up, I believe Little ol' Napoleon is atop it, so similarities with Nelson's Column are more obvious than this one. Takes about 15 minutes to walk up the interior
 
2012-10-30 12:34:26 PM
Could just be for maintenance.........


Honest Bender: Who knew history could be so boring?


According to the History Chanel it is either Aliens or Ghosts.
 
2012-10-30 12:34:36 PM
 
2012-10-30 12:37:53 PM
SOMEONE has had access to it, all these years, I'm guessing, just not the general public.
 
2012-10-30 12:43:19 PM

Honest Bender: Who knew history could be so boring?


I know the site's slogan is "It's not news..." but holy hell
 
2012-10-30 12:50:58 PM
*spoiler*

The secret passage underneath the tower is how The Queen gets in to MI23

*/spoiler/*
 
2012-10-30 12:54:32 PM
If I see a tower, I tend to assume there's some way to the top. Who would build something you can't?

It's more surprising that they haven't leased mobile antenna space around the railing, to be honest.
 
2012-10-30 12:58:49 PM
Connor Kenway could get to the observation deck of this thing.
 
2012-10-30 12:59:21 PM
It conceals a particle emitter array for UNIT's integrated London defense grid....
 
2012-10-30 01:05:52 PM
Is this a hidden advertisement for Assassin's Creed 3? They even show the handholds.
 
2012-10-30 01:06:49 PM
FTFA: It was even designed to make climbing easier by reversing the spiral of the staircase to anti-clockwise...

Huh? How does that work?
 
2012-10-30 01:14:21 PM

Barricaded Gunman: FTFA: It was even designed to make climbing easier by reversing the spiral of the staircase to anti-clockwise...

Huh? How does that work?


Clever, but obviously it's worse for left handed people.
 
2012-10-30 01:16:19 PM
TLDR

The tower is not open to the public.
 
2012-10-30 01:32:40 PM
I've never been to London, or anywhere in Great Britain short of an airport, but if and when I go... that's the kind of thing I want to climb around in.

Call me when it's opened.

/loves that kind of stuff
 
2012-10-30 01:35:00 PM
That's pretty cool, they should open it up. I wouldn't mind having those doors for my house though. There's no way people haven't found ways to get in and check it out over the decades, or climbers scaling the tower. I'm kind of surprised it still has the original door on the bottom. If I was rich, I'd have a tower like this built at my mansion.
 
2012-10-30 01:45:58 PM
upload.wikimedia.org 

Here in Newcastle we have Grey's Monument, built at approximately the same time as The Duke of York Column and many other similar landmarks in these isles.

Grey's Monument is opened once a year for a limited number people to climb to the top and enjoy the view, and I can personally attest that it is the best view in the Toon.

For over 100 years, Dublin had Nelson's Pillar, which likewise afforded a splendid view of O'Connell Street and its environs.

Until the IRA blew it up in 1966.

Fark.
 
2012-10-30 01:47:33 PM
uh, not a very secret tower. People go up there all the time.
Never understand why you yanks think that just because the general public doesnt get unlimited access to something, that means no one has gone up there in hundreds of years.

lh5.googleusercontent.com 
Hopefully this picture will work, but, this is modern picture taken from the top of this very tower, so, clearly some people DO get to go up there. durrr.
 
2012-10-30 01:48:32 PM

jopy666: uh, not a very secret tower. People go up there all the time.
Never understand why you yanks think that just because the general public doesnt get unlimited access to something, that means no one has gone up there in hundreds of years.

[lh5.googleusercontent.com image 505x379] 
Hopefully this picture will work, but, this is modern picture taken from the top of this very tower, so, clearly some people DO get to go up there. durrr.


Is this something you constantly hear?
 
2012-10-30 01:49:50 PM
Sort of like the Washington Monument in Baltimore. Closed and who knows when it will re-open 

rlv.zcache.com
 
2012-10-30 01:50:57 PM

Thelyphthoric: Barricaded Gunman: FTFA: It was even designed to make climbing easier by reversing the spiral of the staircase to anti-clockwise...

Huh? How does that work?

Clever, but obviously it's worse for left handed people.


Building counter clockwise creates the northern hemisphere funnel effect with regards to falling down one built this way.

You would tumble down the stairs in a clockwise direction which would increase the tumble speed, think of a flat spin, it's tough to recover from once started.

Water funnels in a clockwise motion in the north hemisphere, FYI.

What??
 
2012-10-30 01:53:29 PM
The article itself states that a structural survey was carried out in 2006.
 
2012-10-30 01:54:00 PM
jopy666: uh, not a very secret tower. People go up there all the time.
Never understand why you yanks think that just because the general public doesnt get unlimited access to something, that means no one has gone up there in hundreds of years.

[lh5.googleusercontent.com image 505x379] 
Hopefully this picture will work, but, this is modern picture taken from the top of this very tower, so, clearly some people DO get to go up there. durrr.


You're not very secure, are you?
 
2012-10-30 01:55:25 PM
JohnCarter: Sort of like the Washington Monument in Baltimore. Closed and who knows when it will re-open 

[rlv.zcache.com image 400x400]


I've been up it!! :D
 
2012-10-30 02:41:13 PM

Fano: jopy666: uh, not a very secret tower. People go up there all the time.
Never understand why you yanks think that just because the general public doesnt get unlimited access to something, that means no one has gone up there in hundreds of years.


I don't think anyone thought that. I think everyone knows what "closed to the public" means without you explaining it to us "yanks".
 
2012-10-30 02:41:35 PM

upndn: Thelyphthoric: Barricaded Gunman: FTFA: It was even designed to make climbing easier by reversing the spiral of the staircase to anti-clockwise...

Huh? How does that work?

Clever, but obviously it's worse for left handed people.

Building counter clockwise creates the northern hemisphere funnel effect with regards to falling down one built this way.

You would tumble down the stairs in a clockwise direction which would increase the tumble speed, think of a flat spin, it's tough to recover from once started.

Water funnels in a clockwise motion in the north hemisphere, FYI.

What??


I know that old castles had clock-wise spiral stairs because it made the attacker climb the stairs with their (right-handed) weapon in a difficult position to use. Therefore it was easier to defend such a staircase and it became a chokepoint. Presumably, a counter-clockwise stair would be easier for people with canes and walking sticks to ascend.
 
2012-10-30 02:45:13 PM

jopy666: uh, not a very secret tower. People go up there all the time.
Never understand why you yanks think that just because the general public doesnt get unlimited access to something, that means no one has gone up there in hundreds of years.



Newsflash bozo... the story was written by someone from the UK. He's not a yank.
 
2012-10-30 03:02:02 PM
cgraves67: I know that old castles had clock-wise spiral stairs because it made the attacker climb the stairs with their (right-handed) weapon in a difficult position to use. Therefore it was easier to defend such a staircase and it became a chokepoint.

This at least makes sense, even if it doesn't speak to the issue of "...designed to make climbing easier by reversing the spiral of the staircase to anti-clockwise."


cgraves67: Presumably, a counter-clockwise stair would be easier for people with canes and walking sticks to ascend.

Assuming these people carried their canes and walking sticks in their right hands, maybe.
 
2012-10-30 03:03:35 PM

upndn: Building counter clockwise creates the northern hemisphere funnel effect with regards to falling down one built this way.

You would tumble down the stairs in a clockwise direction which would increase the tumble speed, think of a flat spin, it's tough to recover from once started.

Water funnels in a clockwise motion in the north hemisphere, FYI.

What??


static.starcitygames.com
 
2012-10-30 03:05:51 PM

JohnCarter: Sort of like the Washington Monument in Baltimore. Closed and who knows when it will re-open 

[rlv.zcache.com image 400x400]


closed? I was up there less than 5 years ago. It looks closed most of the time, but if the gate is open usually that means you just walk in and go up. Like the mistaken article - just because they aren't rolling out the red carpet doesn't mean it's closed.
 
2012-10-30 03:28:52 PM

Barricaded Gunman: FTFA: It was even designed to make climbing easier by reversing the spiral of the staircase to anti-clockwise...

Huh? How does that work?


Most people in the northern hemisphere are right handed, so a spiral staircase that turns to the left (counter-clockwise) as it goes up puts the right leg on the outside of the turn. When climbing in a spiral, the outside leg has further to go and therefore does more work than the inside leg. Having the stronger leg on the outside makes climbing the stairs easier.

That's one of the reasons staircases in medieval turrets go the other way, so that attackers climbing up are more tired as they go up. The other reason, of course, is to bind their sword arm with the inside wall of the staircase, while the defender above them can conversely use the inside wall as a protection while their sword arm swings around the curve.

The reverse is true in the southern hemisphere, naturally, since the proportions of left-handed people in the southern hemisphere is reversed from the northern hemisphere. The natives of Spain learned this to their detriment in the early 8th century Umayyad conquest - the naturally left-handed Moors were not inconvenienced by the clockwise-turned towers in the Visigothic fortifications, which was one of the contributing factors to the easy conquest of Toledo after the Battle of Guadalete.

Of course, the northern backlash against left-handed peoples also contributed to the deteriation of sub-equatorial societies. Colonialism and conquest by right-hand-dominant nations led to forced right-handed instruction on the populations, along with the other tools of imperialism like Christianity and intelligence-reducing drugs - opium and vaccinations coming to mind. You've all heard stories about left-handed children who had their left hand tied behind their back and/or whipped until they learned to perform tasks right-handed. Just another example of the imperialist mindset.  There's also the superstition against turning in circles counterclockwise - or "widdershins" - that plays right along with the superstition against left-handed - or "sinister" - people.

To bring it back to the tower in TFA, however, you'll find that this superstition isn't entirely without merit. The stairs within go "widdershins" up the tower, which no doubt is a contribution to the numerous suicides off the tower in the 1840s. Whether those suicides had some occult or ritual element involved, or if they were simply an effect of the sinister design, is unknown, but Fredreich, Duke of York, for who the tower is named, had numerous occult connections related to his upbringing in Germany near Brocken, the notorious pagan ritual site. Also, although dates vary, construction of the column began on April 30, 1831 - Walpurgisnacht, a day celebrated as the witch's sabbath in northern Europe.
 
2012-10-30 03:29:04 PM
I went up the Monument recently. It's quite a climb, but quite a view as well.

i832.photobucket.com 

Incidentally what's a good image hosting site that doesn't shrink pictures, like photobucket does?
 
2012-10-30 03:41:48 PM

ElLoco: I've never been to London, or anywhere in Great Britain short of an airport, but if and when I go... that's the kind of thing I want to climb around in.

Call me when it's opened.

/loves that kind of stuff


There's a nice view from here (Wallace Monument, Stirling), and it's open all year round.

encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com 

Or if you get to Edinburgh there's also a nice view from here (Scott Monument).

encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com
 
2012-10-30 03:42:12 PM

ElLoco: I've never been to London, or anywhere in Great Britain short of an airport, but if and when I go... that's the kind of thing I want to climb around in.

Call me when it's opened.

/loves that kind of stuff


You don't need this one building to be open - there are hundreds of old buildings in London to climb around in as a tourist.

/loves London
 
2012-10-30 03:44:55 PM

Stantz: That's a very similar tower in NW France, which I've been up, I believe Little ol' Napoleon is atop it, so similarities with Nelson's Column are more obvious than this one. Takes about 15 minutes to walk up the interior


Or the eagle in Berlin.
 
2012-10-30 03:51:37 PM
As Americans, we know that if the general public doesn't get unlimited access to something then neither does anyone else (for hundreds of years).

Why does the rest of the world sometimes doubt this simple fact which has always been common knowledge in our country?
 
2012-10-30 04:12:02 PM

Slaxl: I went up the Monument recently. It's quite a climb, but quite a view as well.



Me too (a few years back) and to prove how stupid tourists are, I walked from there to St. Paul's Cathedral and PAID to climb all the way to the top. The remainder of my vacation was spent in a quaint little English village named "Owmylegs."
 
2012-10-30 04:20:14 PM

Barricaded Gunman: cgraves67: Presumably, a counter-clockwise stair would be easier for people with canes and walking sticks to ascend.

Assuming these people carried their canes and walking sticks in their right hands, maybe.


No, see it works great if you have one leg shorter than the other, or you go down the stairs but never go up.
 
2012-10-30 04:22:27 PM

phyrkrakr: Barricaded Gunman: FTFA: It was even designed to make climbing easier by reversing the spiral of the staircase to anti-clockwise...

Huh? How does that work?

Most people in the northern hemisphere are right handed, so a spiral staircase that turns to the left (counter-clockwise) as it goes up puts the right leg on the outside of the turn. When climbing in a spiral, the outside leg has further to go and therefore does more work than the inside leg. Having the stronger leg on the outside makes climbing the stairs easier.

That's one of the reasons staircases in medieval turrets go the other way, so that attackers climbing up are more tired as they go up. The other reason, of course, is to bind their sword arm with the inside wall of the staircase, while the defender above them can conversely use the inside wall as a protection while their sword arm swings around the curve.

The reverse is true in the southern hemisphere, naturally, since the proportions of left-handed people in the southern hemisphere is reversed from the northern hemisphere. The natives of Spain learned this to their detriment in the early 8th century Umayyad conquest - the naturally left-handed Moors were not inconvenienced by the clockwise-turned towers in the Visigothic fortifications, which was one of the contributing factors to the easy conquest of Toledo after the Battle of Guadalete.

Of course, the northern backlash against left-handed peoples also contributed to the deteriation of sub-equatorial societies. Colonialism and conquest by right-hand-dominant nations led to forced right-handed instruction on the populations, along with the other tools of imperialism like Christianity and intelligence-reducing drugs - opium and vaccinations coming to mind. You've all heard stories about left-handed children who had their left hand tied behind their back and/or whipped until they learned to perform tasks right-handed. Just another example of the imperialist mindset.  There's also the superst ...


And that's how you troll, ladies and gentlemen.

/you had me going until "The reverse is true in the southern hemisphere"
 
2012-10-30 04:29:44 PM
Jesus, phyrkrakr, that's how you answer a question!
 
2012-10-30 04:31:34 PM

Geotpf: And that's how you troll make a joke, ladies and gentlemen.


Jeez, people always go to 'troll' first.
 
2012-10-30 04:36:25 PM

jopy666: uh, not a very secret tower. People go up there all the time.
Never understand why you yanks think that just because the general public doesnt get unlimited access to something, that means no one has gone up there in hundreds of years.

[lh5.googleusercontent.com image 505x379] 
Hopefully this picture will work, but, this is modern picture taken from the top of this very tower, so, clearly some people DO get to go up there. durrr.


There are things called box kites. The picture was clearly taken on a box kite that was flown close to the tower. DUH.
 
2012-10-30 04:52:08 PM

Slaxl: Incidentally what's a good image hosting site that doesn't shrink pictures, like photobucket does?


Photobucket has never resized my photos, not sure what is happening. Maybe an option you're overlooking. Anyway I sometimes use Tinypic also, mostly for one time throwaway stuff.
 
2012-10-30 05:27:03 PM

Slaxl:

Incidentally what's a good image hosting site that doesn't shrink pictures, like photobucket does?


Hand Banana: Slaxl: Incidentally what's a good image hosting site that doesn't shrink pictures, like photobucket does?

Photobucket has never resized my photos, not sure what is happening. Maybe an option you're overlooking. Anyway I sometimes use Tinypic also, mostly for one time throwaway stuff.


Free Photobucket accounts automatically downsize images. You can set the size up to a max of 2048x1536 or 1 meg in your upload options. Pro accounts don't have this restriction. Mine automatically resize to 640x 480, I've left it set like that because all I use it for is posting to Fark.
 
2012-10-30 05:48:21 PM

Snuffybud: Slaxl:

Incidentally what's a good image hosting site that doesn't shrink pictures, like photobucket does?

Hand Banana: Slaxl: Incidentally what's a good image hosting site that doesn't shrink pictures, like photobucket does?

Photobucket has never resized my photos, not sure what is happening. Maybe an option you're overlooking. Anyway I sometimes use Tinypic also, mostly for one time throwaway stuff.

Free Photobucket accounts automatically downsize images. You can set the size up to a max of 2048x1536 or 1 meg in your upload options. Pro accounts don't have this restriction. Mine automatically resize to 640x 480, I've left it set like that because all I use it for is posting to Fark.


Oh, I don't think I've ever uploaded anything that large so I never noticed.
 
2012-10-30 06:45:49 PM
www.weird-london.com
 
2012-10-30 07:12:07 PM

Honest Bender: Who knew history could be so boring?


Ah, well, if you enjoyed that article...

It sounds like the Aberdeenshire granite would have been from Rubislaw quarry.

news.bbcimg.co.uk

Much of Aberdeen's buildings were built from Rubislaw granite, as well as many world-famous buildings, including the terrace of the houses of parliament.

It was, at one time, the largest man-made hole in Europe.

Slaxl: Incidentally what's a good image hosting site that doesn't shrink pictures, like photobucket does?


imgur. Don't even need to create an account for it.
 
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