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TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
Hartley's Fireproof Obelisk
The obelisk commerating the daring fireproof experiment.
Location: Putney Heath, London
Description: This obelisk, just off the A3 at Tibbet's Corner was designed by George Dance in 1788 commemorating the experimental 'fire-proof house' erected here in 1776 by David Hartley, which had iron and copper plates between the doors of a ground floor room. He use the plates to retard the flames of a fire he had set above which was a dinner party he was hosting to demonstrate his fireproofing technique. The experiment worked, and the story became renowned. Although the nearby house was demolished long ago, the obelisk still remains.
The Eastern side reads:
THE RT. HON. JOHN SAWBRIDGE SQRE, LORD MAYOR OF LONDON, LAID THE FOUNDATION STONE OF THIS OBELISK ONE HUNDRED AND TEN YEARS AFTER THE FIRE OF LONDON ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THAT DREADFUL EVENT, IN MEMORY OF AN INVENTION FOR SECURING BUILDINGS AGAINST FIRE.