Where is it? #2…

This is the second of our series in which we ask you to identify where in London this picture was taken and what it’s of. If you reckon you know the answer, leave a comment below. We’ll reveal the answer on Monday.

Obviously, this one was too easy – yes, it is the top of Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner. The Decimus Burton-designed arch, which dates from 1826-30 and was initially known as the Green Park Arch, was built to commemorate Britain’s victory over Napoleon.

In 1846, it was adorned with a controversial giant statue of the Duke of Wellington on horseback but in 1883, when the arch had to be moved from its initial position parallel to the Hyde Park Screen to where it now stands to accommodate increased road traffic, the statue was removed to Aldershot (where it still stands) and not replaced.

In 1912, thanks to the support of King Edward VII (initially as Prince of Wales), the space was occupied with Adrian Jones’ sculpture of four horses pulling a chariot (known as a quadriga) driven by a boy with a winged figure representing peace standing behind him. It remains to this day.

Congrats to Hazel Edmunds who was the first to guess it on Exploring London and Sarah Goldsworthy, who was the first on Facebook. Honorable mention to Mike Paterson who also guessed it.

We’ve decided to make this a weekly feature – have a look for the next challenge on Friday afternoon!

The return of the Temple Bar

Temple Bar, LondonIt’s been a while since I was in London so I was delighted to find that the Temple Bar had been restored (not to its original site, but to the city as a whole!). The only surviving gateway into the city of London, it was constructed in 1672 to replace a crumbling wooden predecessor and was designed by Sir Christopher Wren (he of St Paul’s fame). The Temple Bar stood at the junction of Fleet Street and the Strand until 1878 when, to help traffic flow, it was removed. Apparently it was intended that it would be rebuilt somewhere else in the city, but time passed and no suitable site was found, so it eventually ended up on an estate in Hertfordshire. Where it remained until 2004 when – thanks to the work of the Temple Bar Trust – it was able to be returned to the city – it is now located between St Paul’s and Paternoster Square – for all to now enjoy.

WHERE: Between Paternoster Square and St Paul’s Cathedral. Nearest tube station is St Paul’s. COST: Free to see (actual building not open to public). WEBSITE: www.thetemplebar.info.

The Temple Bar isn’t the only ‘monument’, for want of a better word, which has been relocated in London. Another is the Wellington Arch, a magnificent structure which was originally finished (though not really completed) in 1830. Then known as the Green Park Arch, it stood parallel with the Hyde Park Screen (it was created to be seen in conjunction with it) and was later adorned with a huge – and controversial – statue of Wellington. But by the 1880s, traffic flow was again a problem and so it was decided to move the arch to its current location, perpendicular to the Hyde Park Screen. As a footnote, when the arch was moved in 1883, the statue of Wellington was not placed back on top but moved to a new site – Aldershot, where it is now.

WHERE: Grosvenor Place, Westminster, SW1X 7. Nearest tube station is Hyde Park Corner. COST: Adults £3.70/child £1.90 (English Heritage members free – there is a joint offer for others combined with Apsley House). WEBSITE: www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/wellington-arch/.