Marble Arch is a 19th-century white marble-faced triumphal arch in London, England. The structure was designed by John Nash in 1827 to be the state entrance to the cour d'honneur of Buckingham Palace; it stood near the site of what is today the three-bayed, central projection of the palace containing the well-known balcony.In 1851, on the initiative of architect and urban planner Decimus Burton, a one-time pupil of John Nash, it was relocated to its current site. Following the widening of Park Lane in the early 1960s, the site became a large traffic island at the junction of Oxford Street, Park Lane and Edgware Road, isolating the arch. Admiralty Arch, Holyhead in Wales is a similar arch, also cut off from public access, at the other end of the A5.
Only members of the Royal Family and the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery are said to be permitted to pass through the arch; this happens in ceremonial processions.
The arch gives its name to the area surrounding it, particularly the southern portion of Edgware Road and also to the underground station. The arch is not part of the Royal Parks and is maintained by Westminster City Council.
Nash's three-arch design is based on that of the Arch of Constantine in Rome and the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in Paris.The triumphal arch is faced with Carrara marble with embellishments of marble extracted from quarries near Seravezza.
John Flaxman was chosen to make the commemorative sculpture. After his death in 1826, the commission was divided between Sir Richard Westmacott, Edward Hodges Baily and J. C. F. Rossi. In 1829, a bronze equestrian statue of George IV was commissioned from Sir Francis Chantrey, with the intention of placing it on top of the arch.
Construction began in 1827, but was cut short in 1830, following the death of the spendthrift King George IV—the rising costs were unacceptable to the new king, William IV, who later tried to offload the uncompleted palace onto Parliament as a substitute for the recently destroyed Palace of Westminster.
Work restarted in 1832, this time under the supervision of Edward Blore, who greatly reduced Nash's planned attic stage and omitted its sculpture, including the statue of George IV. The arch was completed in 1833.
Some of the unused sculpture, including parts of Westmacott's frieze of Waterloo and the Nelson panels, were used at Buckingham Palace. His victory statues and Rossi's relief of Europe and Asia were used at the National Gallery. In 1843 the equestrian statue of George IV was installed on one of the pedestals in Trafalgar Square.
The white marble soon lost its light colouring in the polluted London atmosphere. In 1847, Sharpe's London Magazine described it as "discoloured by smoke and damp, and in appearance resembling a huge sugar erection in a confectioner's shop window."
The arch is 45 feet (14 m) high, and measures 60 by 30 feet (18.3 by 9.1 m) east-west by north-south.
Buckingham Palace remained unoccupied, and for the most part unfinished, until it was hurriedly completed upon the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. Within a few years, the palace was found to be too small for the large court and the Queen's expanding family. The solution was to enlarge the palace by enclosing the cour d'honneur with a new east range. This façade is today the principal front and public face of the palace and shields the inner façades containing friezes and marbles matching and complementing those of the arch.
When building work began in 1847, the arch was dismantled and rebuilt by Thomas Cubitt as a ceremonial entrance to the northeast corner of Hyde Park at Cumberland Gate.The reconstruction was completed in March 1851. A popular story says that the arch was moved because it was too narrow for the Queen's state coach to pass through, but, in fact, the gold state coach passed under it during Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953.
Three small rooms inside the rebuilt arch were used as a police station from 1851 until at least 1968 (John Betjeman made a programme inside it in 1968 and referred to it as a fully functional police station).It firstly housed the royal constables of the Park and later the Metropolitan Police. One policeman stationed there during the early 1860s was Samuel Parkes, who won the Victoria Cross in the Charge of the Light Brigade in 1854, during the Crimean War.
In 2005 it was speculated that the arch might be moved across the street to Hyde Park, or to a more accessible location than its current position on a large traffic island.
Park Lane was widened as part of the Park Lane Improvement Scheme of the London County Council, and the Marble Arch became stranded on a traffic island. The scheme required an act of Parliament in 1958, and during the passage of the Park Lane Improvement Bill the possibility of providing an underpass instead of a roundabout was dismissed due to excessive cost and the need to demolish buildings on Edgware Road.As part of the scheme, gardens were laid out around the arch on the traffic island. The works took place between 1960 and 1964.
Still Water , a large bronze sculpture of a horse's head by Nic Fiddian-Green, was unveiled on the same traffic island a short distance from the arch in 2011.
Having a tube station means that the arch gives rise to a colloquial, entirely modern London "area", with no parishes or established institutions bearing its name. This generally equates to parts in view of the arch of Mayfair, Marylebone and often all of St George's Fields, Marylebone (west of Edgware Road) all in the City of Westminster, London, W1H.
The eponymous London Underground station is Marble Arch on the Central line.
The area around the arch forms a major road junction connecting Oxford Street to the east, Park Lane (A4202) to the south, Bayswater Road (A402) to the west, and Edgware Road (A5) to the north-west. The short road directly to the north of the arch is also known as Marble Arch.
The former cinema Odeon Marble Arch was located directly adjacent to the junction. Before 1997 this had the largest cinema screen in London. The screen was originally over 75 feet (23 m) wide. The Odeon showcased 70 mm films in a large circle-and-stalls auditorium. It closed in 2016 and was demolished later that same year.
The arch also stands close to the former site of the Tyburn gallows (sometimes called "Tyburn Tree"), a place of public execution from 1388 until 1793.
Charing Cross is a junction in London, England, where six routes meet. Clockwise from north these are: the east side of Trafalgar Square leading to St Martin's Place and then Charing Cross Road; the Strand leading to the City; Northumberland Avenue leading to the Thames; Whitehall leading to Parliament Square; The Mall leading to Admiralty Arch and Buckingham Palace; and two short roads leading to Pall Mall.
Paddington is an area within the City of Westminster, in central London, located in the West End of London. First a medieval parish then a metropolitan borough, it was integrated with Westminster and Greater London in 1965. Three important landmarks of the district are Paddington station, designed by the celebrated engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel and opened in 1847; St Mary's Hospital; and the former Paddington Green Police Station.
Park Lane is a major road in the City of Westminster, in Central London. It is part of the London Inner Ring Road and runs from Hyde Park Corner in the south to Marble Arch in the north. It separates Hyde Park to the west from Mayfair to the east. The road has a number of historically important properties and hotels and has been one of the most sought after streets in London, despite being a major traffic thoroughfare.
Hyde Park is a Grade I-listed major park in Central London. It is the largest of four Royal Parks that form a chain from the entrance of Kensington Palace through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, via Hyde Park Corner and Green Park past the main entrance to Buckingham Palace. The park is divided by the Serpentine and the Long Water lakes.
The Green Park, usually known without the definite article simply as Green Park, is one of the Royal Parks of London. It is in the southern part – the core part – of the City of Westminster, Central London, but before that zone was extended to the north, to take in Marylebone and Paddington it lay in its north-centre. It is north of the gardens and the semi-circular forecourt of Buckingham Palace.
Oxford Street is a major road in the City of Westminster in the West End of London, running from Tottenham Court Road to Marble Arch via Oxford Circus. It is Europe's busiest shopping street, with around half a million daily visitors, and as of 2012 had approximately 300 shops. It is designated as part of the A40, a major road between London and Fishguard, though it is not signed as such, and traffic is regularly restricted to buses and taxis.
Edgware Road is a major road in London, England. The route originated as part of Roman Watling Street, and, unusually for London, runs for 10 miles in an almost perfect straight line. It is part of the modern A5 road.
Regent's Park is one of the Royal Parks of London. It occupies high ground in north-west Inner London, administratively split between the City of Westminster and the Borough of Camden. It contains Regent's University and London Zoo.
Belgravia is an affluent district in Central London, shared within the authorities of both the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Hyde Park Corner is an area in London, England, located around a major road junction at the southeastern corner of Hyde Park, that was designed by Decimus Burton. Six streets converge at the junction: Park Lane, Piccadilly (northeast), Constitution Hill (southeast), Grosvenor Place (south), Grosvenor Crescent (southwest) and Knightsbridge (west). Hyde Park Corner tube station, a London Underground station served by the Piccadilly line, is located at the junction, as are a number of notable monuments. Immediately to the north of the junction is Apsley House, the home of the first Duke of Wellington; several monuments to the Duke were erected in the vicinity, both in his lifetime and subsequently.
Constitution Hill is a road in the City of Westminster in London. It connects the western end of The Mall with Hyde Park Corner, and is bordered by Buckingham Palace Gardens to the south, and Green Park to the north.
St James's Park is a 23-hectare (57-acre) park in the City of Westminster, central London. It is at the southernmost tip of the St James's area, which was named after a leper hospital dedicated to St James the Less. It is the most easterly of a near-continuous chain of parks that includes Green Park, Hyde Park, and Kensington Gardens.
Connaught Square in Bayswater, London, England, was the first square of city houses to be built in its historic estate mentioned. It is named after a royal, the Earl of Connaught who was from 1805 until death in 1834 the second and last Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, and who maintained his fringe-of-London house and grounds on the land of this square and Gloucester Square. Its appearance is essentially the same as in the 1820s. Its south-east is 115 metres north of Hyde Park and the same west of Edgware Road. This point is 302 m (991 ft) WNW of Marble Arch, which sits on a very large green roundabout marking the western end of Oxford Street.
Wellington Arch, also known as Constitution Arch or (originally) as the Green Park Arch, is a Grade I-listed triumphal arch by Decimus Burton that forms a centrepiece of Hyde Park Corner in central London, between corners of Hyde Park and Green Park; it stands on a large traffic island with crossings for pedestrian access. From its construction in 1826 until 1830 the arch stood in a different location nearby; it was moved to its current site in 1882–1883. It originally supported a colossal equestrian statue of the 1st Duke of Wellington by the sculptor Matthew Cotes Wyatt, as a result of which it has acquired the name "the Wellington Arch" in the vernacular. A bronze quadriga by Adrian Jones has surmounted it since 1912.
Bayswater Road is the main road running along the northern edge of Hyde Park in London. Originally part of the A40 road, it is now designated part of the A402 road.
Sir Richard Westmacott was a British sculptor.
The A40 is a major trunk road connecting London to Fishguard, Wales. The A40 in London passes through seven London Boroughs: the City of London, Camden, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham, Ealing and Hillingdon, to meet the M40 motorway junction 1 at Denham, Buckinghamshire.
The statue of George IV in Trafalgar Square, London, is a bronze equestrian statue by Sir Francis Legatt Chantrey. It depicts the King dressed in ancient Roman attire and riding bareback. The sculpture was originally designed to sit on top of the Marble Arch at the entrance to Buckingham Palace, but was placed in its current location following the King's death.
Eia or Eye was an early Medieval manor in the parish of Westminster, Middlesex and is now a part of Central London It was about one mile west of the Palace of Westminster/Whitehall, about 2 miles west-south-west of the walled City of London, and about half a mile north of the River Thames. A smaller sub-manor called Ebury or Eybury, containing the hamlet Eye Cross, was originally part of the manor. Ebury and a corruption of it, Avery, appear as modern streets and other places.