The London Stone and the Sword of Excalibur

April 14, 2011

The London Stone

If putting your shoe on something sacred or revered is a sign of disrespect, then what are we to make of the present location of the London Stone, upon which the safety of the City was once believed to rest? It now sits between a rusty iron grille and a piece of glass in the wall of a sporting goods store on Cannon Street, right by the cricket shoes.

You have probably heard of the Stone of Scone, also known as the Stone of Destiny, the coronation stone of the British monarchy. It was brought down from Scotland (where it now sits in-between coronations), and before that Ireland (as well as, possibly, ancient Egypt and Israel). However, you are much less likely to have heard of that stone’s evil twin, the London Stone. This could possibly be due to the implication that it represents a power rival to that of the Crown, and over which the Queen legally has no claim: the Corporation of London.

The London Stone sitting underneath a display of cricket shoes

As I detailed in my essay “Corporate Frankenstein” last year, the mile-square area originally termed “Londinium” by the Romans is what is now known as the “City of London” or the “Corporation of London.” This is a separate legal and political entity from the surrounding “Greater London,” and indeed, from the rest of the kingdom as well. In that essay I wrote:

This had been a Saxon merchant city before the island was conquered by the Romans in 43 AD, and had been ruled by an “ealdorman” or “underking.” When the Normans took over, William the Conqueror promised to respect the city’s sovereignty, and basically built his kingdom around London, in cooperation with it, but not subduing it. Because of this, London became known as “the Sovereign City”, and is headed by its own “Lord Mayor” to this very day.

Arms of the Corporation of London

The City of London is now Greater London’s financial district. It represents the power of banking and commerce, as a counterbalance to the rule of genetic aristocracy represented by the crown in Westminster. Historically, the City has not been shy about letting the monarchy know its place, and at times has been a bulwark against royal autocracy. As I wrote in “Corporate Frankenstein”:

In London, a symbiotic relationship formed between the City Corporation and the Crown of England. Indeed, to this day, the monarch observes the custom of obtaining permission from the Lord Mayor before entering the one-mile-square City. The City became the prime influence on English politics, and gained a reputation as the maker of kings. The City would always support the Crown, as long as the support was mutual. If not, the City would make sure that someone more cooperative took over.

The former display case of the London Stone

The London Stone is a talismanic representation of this corporate sovereignty. When Jack Cade, leader of the peasants’ rebellion of 1450, tool control of London in that same year, he struck his sword upon this stone as a sign that a new authority was seizing control of that sovereignty. When Shakespeare dramatized this story in Henry VI, he showed John Cade sitting on this stone as if it were his throne.

Like any sacred stone in any culture, the London Stone was at one point thought of as the symbolic “center of the world.” It was used as the central point from which the grid lines of the new city streets were laid out in 886, during the reign of King Alfred, after Vikings had sacked the old city. It is now essentially in the center of the City of London financial district, not far from its original location in front of what was once the Roman provincial governor’s palace.

According to legends as old as at least the sixteenth century, all of the important landmarks in Roman Britain had been placed in specific spots measured in radius from this central point. As the center of the realm, it was also the central “pole” that upheld the strength and virtue of Londinium, like Atlas holding up the Earth. Perhaps this is why the stone has never been moved far from this central point, because, according to the proverb associated with the relic:

So long as the stone of Brutus is safe, so long shall London flourish.

The term “stone of Brutus” is its other alias, and reveals its legendary origin. In the twelfth century, Geoffrey of Monmouth published History of the Kings of Britain, in which he claimed that London had been originally founded as “New Troy” by Brutus, the grandson of Aeneas, after Troy’s defeat in the war with the Greeks. Supposedly, Brutus brought the London Stone from Troy and used it as the foundation stone of a new kingdom, and as an altar of sacrifice in a temple to Diana.

London Stone as seen from outside the building

Britain was subsequently named after Brutus, according to Geoffrey, and divided amongst his sons into England, Ireland, and Britain. Geoffrey wrote that the stone came to be used by the kings of Britain to swear their oaths upon it. According to a 2002 BBC documentary, the London Stone was also an object of fascination to Queen Elizabeth I’s court soothsayer and warlock, John Dee, who allegedly believed that it possessed magical powers.

The 1857 book Britons of Cambria by Reverend Richard Williams Morgan says that the stone was originally part of the Palladium, the statue of Pallas Athena that allegedly protected Troy from destruction. It was stolen by the Greeks towards the end of the war, which was supposedly part of what finally allowed Troy’s defeat. This may explain why people have always thought that the London Stone played a similar protective role in the “New Troy” of the City of London.

An old photo of the London Stone from the outside

Of particular interest are these traditions stating that those challenging the power of the monarch would strike their swords upon it. This brings to mind the image of the sword of Excalibur buried in the regal stone in Arthurian legends. According to these tales (many of them promulgated by Geoffrey of Monmouth as well) the sword could only be removed by the “rightful heir” to the throne of the kingdom. In all of the legends, drawing the sword is considered a sign of the reinstitution of a dynasty that has been defunct or in exile for a long time.

If the stone represents the source of sovereignty, a sword buried within it that cannot be removed is the subjugation of that sovereignty to a martial, perhaps mercenary force that is holding it hostage through threat of violence. This is the concept of the fallen kingdom of the Holy Grail romances, which in those stories has become “the Wasteland” after the king was severely wounded by a one of his enemies with a spear.

Sir Galahad pulling the sword from the stone a la Arthurian legends

There would seem to me to be a very strong identity between the London Stone and that which the sword of Excalibur was drawn from. Many other authors have made the same connection as well. It was apparently strong enough to be included in the Disney animated film The Sword in the Stone, where the artifact in question is shown on display outside the courtyard of a church in London.

Disney connected Excalibur with the London Stone in their animated film

So what does it mean that it is now relegated to a hole in the wall of a sporting goods store? Also, what cosmic order will be disrupted when it is moved to the Museum of London so that the building can be demolished, as is soon to occur? With the government, the currency, and the whole economy already on shaky ground, perhaps its best to prepare for the worst.

3 Responses to The London Stone and the Sword of Excalibur

  1. thomas mason on December 20, 2016 at 10:41 am

    hey, a bit random but i had a dream about this hence i had to search the internet and read this article which was very interesting. it sounds crazy but u tought you might be entertained to hear about my vivid vision with regards to this subject.

    basically the middle hemisphere was being overtaken by a specific belief system which required the worshiping of a human, troy was the last stand to this. the way it ended was through the last living deyety heros of war hector, achilies and odysseous, the war ended the stories of hector and achilies and humanity learnt from the last surviving hero. who came up with the first lie in humanity (the trojan horse) to end the war. this taught humanity to lie in order to obtain vicorty. anyway the moving of the stone and more importantly sword of the trogan aires was moved to london (also in another vision the place jesus whent to after resurection). this sward put in the stone marked open peace like in troy, and the end of an era of bloodshed. it marked lots of symbolism such as any man can aattempt to be worthy, that we have peace through choice not lack of weponry which anyone could attempt to upohold based on soul not choice from a ruler. symolised a unity between ruler and people. william the conquerer made the deal after conquering britan to not lift the sward for war but to hand over or hide away for furthermore protection. this mantained the residence however not in the stone which once was permitted in public now locked away. the vatican is key in this whole timeline and infact has been the adverse kingdom this whole time. a ceremony was conducted the time the pope retired for the first time in which the stone was swaped for a meaningless stone and the sword moved from london for the first time since it arrived both potentially destroyed in the ritual in order for maximum meaning impact. london is a buisness kindom one like only one other, the vatican, one gives choice the other offers choice, giving choice is not what it seemes, it means giving options which makes freedom of choice impossible. the symboism that meaning being put into the sword n the stone and movement or possible distruction is the battle and the war over what is real wages on without them in perception or reality. hence the richnes of culture a wonderful and terreble thing. potentially there removal may not mean the removal of there symbols, but symbolising there intrgration into our atmosphere decision based on no longer needing material influence something that now exists in developed instinct. end of an era in another manner. our interpretation of this new era will immencely depend on how these symbols are understood and interpreted and shaired.

    again i know its crazy but in my visions i also am covinced i have found the rout of all evil. it is expolitation. the battle with the essence of this meaning has been waging. the sword reprezented will or the overcomer of exploitation, only the richous must cary it and it is stronger and can cut through any exploitation so has been subcect of desire for exploitation itself. any who wield it will be richeous as what they do will be symbolic of richous. the will of our earths people is in the hand of whos holding the sword. the symbolism of it being in the sword and in public was that any man could hold it but couldnt take it anywhere,it can be held by a man but is routed to the earth at what was considered at the time the top of the world.

  2. Helen on March 20, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    That is the stone upon which the church was built that jesus mentioned.

  3. love spells on September 19, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    Hello,I check your blog named “The London Stone and the Sword of Excalibur | Liberty Cap Press / The Invisible Hand” daily.Your humoristic style is awesome, keep it up! And you can look our website about love spells.

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