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The Wellington Arch - Hyde Park Corner | by londonconstant
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The Wellington Arch - Hyde Park Corner


The Wellington Arch by Decimus Burton (1826-1830) was planned by George IV to celebrate the Duke of Wellington’s victory in the Napoleonic War. 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 From 1846, it was topped with a huge equestrian statue of the 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. but a major road widening of Piccadilly in 1882, due to the increasing demands of Victorian traffic, was used as an excuse to remove the oversized statue to Aldershot. In 1912 the magnificent statue 'Peace Descending on the Quadriga of War' was placed on top of the Arch, and remains today the largest bronze sculpture in the country and in Europe.The quadriga was designed by Adrian Jones. The face of the charioteer leading the quadriga is that of a small boy (actually the son of Lord Michelham, the man who funded the sculpture).The monument is now a museum which contains three floors detailing the history of the London’s arches.

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Taken on July 19, 2007