Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Wellington Arch


This particular arch (one of many in London it seems) is located in Hyde Park. Wikipedia tells us that
The arch, and Marble Arch close by, were both planned in 1825 by George IV to commemorate Britain's victories in the Napoleonic Wars. The Wellington Arch was also conceived as an outer gateway to Constitution Hill and therefore a grand entrance into central London from the west.

The Wellington Arch was built between 1826-1830 to a design by Decimus Burton. Much of the intended exterior ornamentation was omitted as a cost-saving exercise after the King's overspending on the refurbishment of Buckingham Palace, which was underway at the same time. The arch originally stood almost directly opposite Apsley House, a short distance from, and at a right-angles to, its present location.

In 1846 the Arch was selected as a suitable location for a statue of Sir Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, soldier and Prime Minister. The statue by Matthew Cotes Wyatt which eventually crowned the arch was 8.5m high, the largest equestrian figure ever made. It was so enormous that it generated considerable controversy at the time.

In 1882-3, the arch was moved a short distance to its present location on Hyde Park Corner to facilitate a road widening scheme. It is today in the centre of a large traffic island.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home