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Equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington, Hyde Park Corner

Coordinates: 51°30′10″N 0°9′5″W / 51.50278°N 0.15139°W / 51.50278; -0.15139{{#coordinates:51|30|10|N|0|9|5|W|type:landmark_region:GB |primary |name= }}

File:Statue Of The Duke Of Wellington-Hyde Park Corner.jpg
Equestrian Statue Of The Duke Of Wellington-Hyde Park Corner

An equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington stands on the north side of Hyde Park Corner, London. The open space in which it stands, now the center of a large roundabout, was once called Wellington Place. It is a equestrian statue of the Iron Duke on a campaign mounted on his horse Copenhagen who has all hooves planted on the ground. It is executed in bronze by the sculptor Joseph Boehm and was unveiled in 1888. The figures at the corners of the pedestal are those of representative British soldiers, a Grenadier, a Scottish Highlander, an Irish Dragoon, and a Welsh Fusilier. Wellington has a telescope in his right hand.

The statue faces Apsley House, the yellow stone building across the busy road, which was the Duke of Wellington's London home.[1][2] This gives the unintentional impression that his back is turned on the processional way that runs through the open space in which it stands. The bronze statue stands on a plinth of pink Peterhead Granite from Stirlinghill Quarry, near Boddam, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The grey dias which forms the base is made of Aberdeen granite from the Rubislaw Quarry, Aberdeen.[3] The bronze came from captured French cannons. On one side of the plinth is inscribed "Wellington" and on the other "1769–1852" in raised bronze characters.

An earlier 1846 equestrian statue of the Duke, by Matthew Cotes Wyatt once stood on top of the nearby Wellington Arch. It was considered to be too large for the arch and was removed in 1882–3. It is now located at Aldershot Camp. Boehms statue was commissioned to compensate for the removal of Wyatt's.

This is not to be confused with the nearby Wellington Monument, the first monument to The Duke of Wellington, which stands 150 meters away in Hyde Park. This was executed in 1822 and comprises a colossal 18 ft high nude statue of Achilles by the sculptor Richard Westmacott. Its nudity was felt to be unacceptable by many in that day and this gave rise to the more conventional monuments.[4]

References

  1. ^ The Green Park Arch, Wellington Place. Victorian London, Originally published in The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896. Accessed September 2014
  2. ^ London Travel Guide. 2014. p. 198. 
  3. ^ Urban Geology: The War Memorials at Hyde Park Corner and Green Park By Ruth Siddall & Di Clements, University College London, January 2013. Accessed September 2014
  4. ^ of this print at the British Museum.

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