* Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-2018)
“The dragon boundary marks are cast iron statues of dragons on metal or stone plinths that mark the boundaries of the City of London. The dragons are painted silver, with details of their wings and tongue picked out in red. The dragon stands on one rear leg, the other lifted against a shield, with the right foreleg raised and the left foreleg holding a shield which bears the City of London’s coat of arms, painted in red and white. This stance is the equivalent of the rampant heraldic attitude of the supporters of the City’s arms.
The design is based on two large dragon sculptures, 7 feet (210 cm) high, which were mounted above the entrance to the Coal Exchange on Lower Thames Street, designed by the City Architect, J. B. Bunning, and made by London founder, Dewer, in 1849. The dragons were preserved when the Coal Exchange was demolished in 1962–3. The two original statues were re-erected on 6 feet (180 cm) high plinths of Portland stone at the western boundary of the City, by Temple Gardens on Victoria Embankment, (see image) in October 1963.
The Corporation of London’s Streets Committee selected the statues as the model for boundary markers for the city in 1964…”
“Despite campaigns and protests, (the Coal Exchange) was demolished in November 1962 to make way for a “vital” widening of Lower Thames Street. The demolition of the Coal Exchange was described by author Hermione Hobhouse as “one of the great conservationist horror stories” and its loss has been compared to the demolition of the Adelphi in 1936 and of Euston Arch shortly before, in 1961. The cleared site was then left empty for 10 years while other land was acquired for the road widening scheme.”