A Knightsbridge & Hyde Park Walk

Additional Information - Monuments & Memorials

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[Abbey Spring] [Achilles] [Albert] [Artillery] [Australian War] [Cavalry] [Cooper] [Diana Fountain] [Diana Walk] [London Bombings] [New Zealand Memorial] [Queen Elizabeth] [Holocaust] [Livingstone] [Machine Gun Corps] [Norweigan War] [Shackleton] [Wellington]

WELLINGTON ARCH (pictured in header)
This was designed by Decimus Burton as a grand entrance to Green Park and was constructed 1826-8 but without the statue he had planned. In 1838 some members of the Wellington Memorial Committee persuaded the Prime Minster to sanction the siting of a statue on top of the arch which stood opposite Wellington's Apsley House. The appointed sculptor Matthew Cotes Wyatt made a 28' high equestrian statue which many regarded as disproportionate to the arch. However the 40 ton figure, which took 5 years to make, was put up in 1846 to much criticism. The problem was only resolved in 1883 when the arch was moved to its present site for a road widening scheme and the statue was sent to Aldershot. In 1892 the Prince of Wales saw the Quadriga at the Royal Academy and after a donor was found the piece was commissioned from Captain Adrian Jones (1845-1938) who had served as a cavalry vet for 23 years. The bronze was completed in 1912. The Wellington Arch was isolated on an island by a traffic scheme in the 1960s. In 1999 it came under the care of English Heritage who carried out major repairs and opened it to the public in 2000. It houses displays and has viewing galleries. A replacement statue of the Duke was made by J E Boehm in 1888. The bronze equestrian figure stands on a granite plinth with figures of soldiers at each corner. See also Achilles

MACHINE GUN CORPS
This division suffered heavy losses in WWI. The memorial of 1925 was commissioned from Francis Derwent Wood (1871-1926). It depicts a life-sized nude David holding the sword of Goliath flanked by wreathed machine guns. The marble pedestal has the text 'Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands'.

AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL
This was dedicated by the Queen and the Prime Ministers of Britain and Australia in November 2003. It takes the form of a curved wall made of grey-green granite quarried in Western Australia. On it are carved 24,000 place names from which servicemen and women came who fought alongside Britain in the two world wars. Letters from these make up larger names of battle sites and there is a constant flow of water over the stones. An inscription reads 'Whatever burden you are to carry we also will shoulder that burden'. There are photos and more information on an Australian website [
page 1] [page 2]

ARTILLERY MEMORIAL
This piece of 1925 commemorates over 49,000 of the Royal Artilley Regiment killed in WW1. It was the work of Charles Sargeant Jagger (1885-1934) who had served in the trenches and been awarded the Military Cross. It consists of a giant Portland Stone sculpture of a howitzer with stone reliefs depicting the reality of war. The bronze figures include a dead soldier covered by a greatcoat above the inscription 'Here was a Royal fellowship of Death' from Shakespeare's Henry V. Three bronze panels by Darcy Braddell were added in 1949 in memory of the additional 30,000 killed in WWII.

NEW ZEALAND MEMORIAL
Dedicated on 11 November 2006 by the Queen this commemorates the bonds between New Zealand and the UK and their shared sacrifices during times of war. It was designed by architect John Hardwick-Smith and sculptor Paul Dibble. Sixteen cross sectioned bronze standards with text, patterns and small sculptures are set into a grassy slope. [
more info]

SIR ERNEST SHACKLETON
This bronze of the Antarctic explorer (1874-1922) was made by Jagger in 1932. It stands in a niche on the Royal Geographical Society building although it was intended to be mounted on a plinth.

DAVID LIVINGSTONE
This bronze of the African explorer was made by T B Huxley-Jones in 1953. It stands in a niche on the Royal Geographical Society building.

ALBERT MEMORIAL
A competition was held to design a memorial from which Queen Victoria chose that of George Gilbert Scott, later knighted for the work. Parliament voted 50,000 towards the cost and subscriptions were collected from all over the country. It was opened without ceremony and without the figure of Albert in July 1872. The first sculptor for this had died and a replacement was not completed by John Foley until 1876. The memorial is 175' high with a 14' figure and cost 120,000. The outer corners have marble statue groups representing Africa, Europe, America & Asia. The podium corners have Engineering, Manufacture, Commerce and Agriculture and the frieze has 169 life-size figures of various artists. The inlaid Gothic canopy got into a poor state and a major restoration was begun in 1990 funded by the D of E, English Heritage and the Victorian Society. This work included the re-guilding of the figure of Albert, browsing the catalogue of the Great Exhibition which was held in Hyde Park.

DIANA MEMORIAL
The 260' x 150' oval water feature was designed by Kathryn Gustafson & Neil Porter at a cost of 3.6 million. It is made from Cornish stone which was cut in Northern Ireland. Spring water is pumped from a 200m borehole via a holding tank to the highest point 'The Source' from where it flows east and west. The east arm goes via steps and a curved area to the Swoosh which has 5 water jet patterns. Water flows west via a Mountain Stream and Cascade of white water. The two flows meet at the Reflecting Pool from where the water is pumped into the Serpentine. The channels vary from 6' to 18' wide and shallow to 18" in depth. It was opened by the Queen on 6th July 2004. There were initial problems with flooding caused by the pumps clogging with leaves. Then the water was turned off and the feature closed to the public on 22 July after 3 people were injured in falls. The memorial has since re-opened but with restrictions. Visitors can sit on the side to dip their feet in but will not be allowed to walk in it and staff will supervise the site. It will be closed annually for maintenance [
more info].

J O COOPER
The Lido Pavilion was built in his memory in 1931. A member of the RFC he was killed in WW1 aged 20.

NORWEGIAN WAR MEMORIAL
Erected in 1978 this consists of a large piece of pre-Cambrian granite mounted on three smaller stones. It was presented by the navy and merchant fleet. The inscription reads 'You gave us a safe haven in our common struggle for freedom and peace'.

ABBEY SPRING
The conduit from this spring supplied the precincts of Westminster until 1861 when it was cut off by the railways. The conduit house was removed in 1867 and the current urn feature erected the following year.

A WALK FOR DIANA
The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk is a 7 mile circular walk waymarked around the Royal Parks, passing places that featured in the Princess's life. Souvenir guide book or free leaflet available from the Hyde Park Corner Lodge near Apsley Gate.

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL
This piece of 1983 by Mark Badger consists of two boulders set in raked gravel and surrounded by silver birch trees. The inscription reads 'For these I weep. Streams of tears flow from my eyes because of the destruction of my people'

CAVALRY MEMORIAL
Originally located at Stanhope Gate in 1924 this was moved to its present position in 1961 when Park Lane was replanned. The bronze figure of St George slaying the dragon was designed by Adrian Jones, who spent 24 years as an army vet. It was cast from captured guns and stands on a base by Sir John Burnet.

7th JULY LONDON BOMBINGS MEMORIAL
This was unveiled in 2009 on the fourth anniversary of the disaster. The memorial is just north of the Achilles statue, to the east of Lovers Walk. It comprises 52 pillars, representing the 52 victims, grouped to reflect the four locations of the incidents. Constructed from stainless steel, each pillar measures 3.5 metres high and is inscribed with the place and time. A plaque listing the names of the victims is sited alongside. The memorial was produced by architects Carmody Groarke and engineering team Arup, who worked in consultation with the bereaved families. It was cast by Sheffield foundry Norton Cast Products.

ACHILLES
The 18' high naked figure inspired by the ancient horse tamers of Rome is a tribute to the Duke of Wellington from the 'women of England'. Designed by Sir Richard Westmacott it was cast using metal from captured French cannon. Its appearance in 1822 caused controversy and mirth. The fig leaf which was added has twice been chipped off in 1870 and 1961.

QUEEN ELIZABETH GATES
These gates commemorating the Queen Mother were opened by the Queen in 1993. The central screen is by David Wynne and the gates of patinated stainless steel were designed by Giuseppe Lund.

 

Resources
London Encylopaedia by Weinreb & Hibbert
Walking London by Andrew Duncan
Walking London's Parks & Gardens by Geoffrey Young
Buildings & Monuments in the Royal Parks
English Heritage Public Sculpture Trail

london-footprints.co.uk 2009

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