Monuments, Memorials and Statues, London

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  • mikey_e's Profile Photo

    Crimean War Memorial

    by mikey_e Written Dec 29, 2012
    Crimean War Memorial
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    The Crimean War is probably not one of the first wars that you will think of when contemplating the British Empire and its engagements in battles far flung from the shores of the United Kingdom, but at one point it obviously loomed large in the minds of Britons. The memorial to those who lost their lives in the war is found not far from St. James Park, at the end of Lower Regent Street. The memorial is made from the guns captured at Sevastopol, now in Ukraine, and features three Guardsmen, as well as an allegory of Victory, which was added in 1914, when the memorial was moved. The original work was cast in 1861.

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    THE GRIFFIN STATUE

    by davidjo Updated Dec 20, 2012
    Temple Bar Memorial

    The Temple Bar Memorial stands in the middle of Fleet Street opposite the Law Courts where Fleet Street becomes the Strand. Wren's Temple Bar used to be here and marks the boundary between the City and Westminster, where Queen Victoria and Prince of Wales stand at the bottom of the statue facing each side of the street and was placed there in 1880.
    NOTE:- It is sometimes known as the Griffin Statue but it is actually the dragon associated with the Coat of arms.

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    Cleopatra's Needle

    by mikey_e Written Dec 17, 2012

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    The Obelisk
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    Sometimes it can seem as if London specializes in artifacts and historical monuments that have been removed from former colonies. Perhaps we should just chock this up to the unfortunate marriage of colonial zeal and collector’s zeal that characterized the 19th century. Cleopatra’s Needle, the colloquial name of the Egyptian obelisk that stands tall on the banks of the Thames, across from the Victoria Embankment Gardens, after more than half a century of financial disagreements over how to bring it to England. It was a gift of the Egyptian regent Muhammad Ali, who awarded it to the United Kingdom in 1819 to mark her victory over Napoleon. It was not until the late 1870s that the funds were found to transport this monument to England, and on its way the ship carrying the obelisk became stranded and had to be rescued off the coast of Spain, adding to the costs and delays involved in its transportation to England. The obelisk was finally erected in its current location in 1878, and was flanked by two imitations of sphinxes. It was damaged in the blitzkrieg, and the city authorities decided not to repair the obelisk, as a constant reminder of the damage wreaked by the war. Even today, it is hard to escape the kitschy feeling associated with the monument. While the obelisk itself may be authentic, the faux sphinxes only heighten the sensation of this being a tribute to 19th century orientalist fantasies – not that that’s a bad thing.

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    THE NEWSPAPER MAN

    by davidjo Written Dec 16, 2012
    PAUL JULIUS REUTER

    Paul Julius Freiherr von Reuter (1816-1899), a German born British businessman who was a journalist, and pioneer of telegraphy can be found outside the Royal Exchange. Amazingly his dad was a rabbi and gave his son the name Israel Beer Josafat, but he later moved to London, converted to Christianity and changed his name. He became a partner in a book publishing company before working as a reporter, and later founded the Reuter News Agency in Aachen and used pigeons to carry the news between Aachen and Brussels. In 1851 Europe was connected by telegraph lines and the pigeons were out of a job and Reuter moved back to London and rented an office in the Stock Exchange, eventually forming Reuters, the financial news agency. He died in Nice and was buried in West Norwood Cemetery.

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    MEMORIAL FOR THE MERCHANT NAVY

    by davidjo Written Dec 15, 2012

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    the memorial from the gardens
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    On the south side of Trinity Square in Trinity Square gardens is a memorial (1928) for all those who died at sea while on duty with the Merchant Navy and fishing fleets, who only have the sea as a grave. There are 2 memorials, the first is a vaulted corridor with plaques which list 12,000 names from the WWI, the second is a sunken semi-circular garden whose walls contain a list of 24,000 seamen who died during the WWII. Between the two memorials are two columns with statues of an officer and a seaman and between the two columns is an appropriate inscription.
    It is rather a nice place to sit and admire the buildings and view that surround the square.

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    Albert Memorial

    by mikey_e Written Dec 12, 2012

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    Albert Memorial
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    The Albert Memorial, standing at the southern edge of Kensington Gardens opposite Royal Albert Hall, is a tall neo-Gothic structure that commemorates the Consort of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert. After his death in 1861, the Queen expressed her desire for a suitable memorial, and, after much dispute about the planning and administration of the project, the current memorial was erected. The canopy, which rises like a ciborium (the canopy over an altar), towers up over the plinth and is ornately decorated. Beneath it is seated a gilded sculpture of Prince Albert made from bronze, and at the corners of the canopy there are groups of statues representing the economic virtues espoused by the Prince (manufactures, commerce, engineering and agriculture). Beneath the plinth, and farther out from the main canopy, there are also four groups representing the four main continental groupings (Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas), presumably a nod to the British Empire, which was at its apogee during Victoria’s reign. The canopy itself is richly decorated with mosaics, a frieze of Parnassus, and scenes copied from Michelangelo and other Renaissance Masters. Unfortunately, after the completion of major restorative work in the 1990s, a fence was erected around the monument, making it rather difficult to approach and inspect the work close up.

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    WILLIAM THOMAS STEAD, HERO on the TITANIC

    by davidjo Written Dec 8, 2012

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    STEAD

    A memorial plaque can be found of Stead (1849-1912) on the Embankment, near the Temple, a copy of the one in New York. Stead was an English Journalist and editor who was surrounded by much controversy during the Victorian era. He wrote many articles regarding child welfare, social legislation and the reform of English Law.
    Unfortunately he died when the Titanic went down but he was reported to be a hero as he courageously gave his life vest to another passenger. He was last seen hanging on to a raft and was not one of the survivors.

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    A hero of the working class.

    by planxty Written Oct 8, 2012

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    Statue, Southwark, London, UK.
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    I came upon this statue whilst compiling the 2012 VT London Treasure Hunt and it initially brought back vague memories of something I vaguely remembered from school. Ernest Bevin, now who was he? Something to do with politics and unions as I recalled. Well, a quick look at the plaque on this statue jogged the memory a little and a bit of research has brought it all back to me. If you are not aware of Mr. Bevin, let me give you a quick potted history.

    Born in the late 19th century and lacking much in the way of formal education, he started work as a labourer, then a lorry driver and eventually a dock worker for which he is probably most famous. By 1914 he was National Organiser of the Dockworkers Union and subsequently one of the original leaders of the Transport and General Workers Union. After that, Bevin made the quite common step of moving from union activity to politics and became a Labour MP. although he was not in that position in 1940 when he was asked to join the coalition government brought togetehr in the face of war with Nazi Germany. A tricky position this, solved by typical British pragmatism, whereby he was was returned unoppsed as member for Wandsworth Central.

    Bevin became famous during the war, being in charge of all the nation's labour resources and gave his name to the "Bevin Boys", potential military conscripts and conscientious objectors who were sent to the coalmines rather than into the aremd services. After the War, he was appointed Foreign Secretary and had a large role in the Palestinian situation which eventually led to the formation of the state of Israel.

    In failing health, he accepted the position of Lord Privy Seal in March 1951 (a largely honorary post) and died in April 1951. I find it quite wonderful that just walking past this statue, one of many tens of thousands in london, led me to look all this up and learn about the man from my dim schoolday recollections. As they say, every day is a schoolday on VT!

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    ROYAL ARTILLERY WAR MEMORIAL

    by balhannah Written Sep 8, 2012

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    Royal Artillery War Memorial

    There have been many battles where the British Empire has been involved, so it wasn't surprising to see many magnificent Memorials when walking.

    I thought, one of the best was this Royal Artillery War Memorial, huge, impressive, one that makes you stop to look at!

    The Howitzer gun which was used on the Somme battlefield in France sits upon the top of the Memorial which is flanked by bronze figures on all four sides. The Memorial was built in 1925, and for me, created a feeling of sadness. Even looking at my photo, I remember it well, the sculptor, Charles Sargeant Jagger has done well.

    If you would like to know where more War Memorials are located, this website I have listed has the addresses, etc.

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    WELLINGTON ARCH

    by balhannah Written Sep 8, 2012

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    Wellington Arch

    The Wellington Arch is a triumphal arch named after the Duke of Wellington, who defeated Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815 at Waterloo. It was King George IV, who wanted the Arch built to commemorate the British victory in the Napoleonic Wars, and so it was built between the years 1826- 1830.
    On the top of the Arch, has been a few different statues. Finally, it was decided on the enormous bronze sculpture depicting the angel of peace who descends on the chariot of war, led by a small boy.

    Wellington Arch is hollow inside, and now houses a three-story museum that educates visitors on the history of the arch. There's also a balcony that allows good views of other nearby landmarks.

    Of interest, is that is once was a Police Station right up until 1992.

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    QUEEN VICTORIA

    by balhannah Updated Sep 7, 2012

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    Queen Victoria monument
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    Does it look like a Wedding Cake..... I don't think so, even though this is what it's sometimes nick-named.

    This is a huge monument made out of white marble of Queen Victoria, who reigned from 1837 until her death in 1901, nearly a reign of 64 years!

    The memorial, completed in 1911, has the Queen looking away from Buckingham Palace. Other nice statues surround her, like the Angel of Justice and on the opposite side, the Angel of Truth. Looking towards Buckingham Palace, is a statue of Charity and the Statue is topped off with a gilded statue of Victory, sitting atop the pinnacle with a seated figure on either side, said to represent Courage and Constancy.

    Just above the steps are ships' prows and other sea-related creatures can be found on the reliefs on the outside surface of the enclosing wall, including mermaids, mermen, and other sea creatures.
    Also on the enclosing wall are groups of bronzes symbolizing Peace and Progress and Industry and Agriculture.

    I love the majestic Lions, said to be a gift from the people of New Zealand.

    On June 4 2012, the memorial formed the centrepiece of the stage for Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Concert. It was hard for me to imagine where the monument was!

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    TOWER HILL MEMORIAL

    by balhannah Written Sep 6, 2012

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    Tower Hill Memorial
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    The Tower Hill Memorial is a magnificent national war memorial, commemorating those from the Merchant Navy and fishing fleets who died during both world wars and have "no grave but the sea".

    The First World War memorial, was opened by Queen Mary in 1928. 12, 000 names are engraved on bronze plaques.
    The Second World War memorial is a semi-circular sunken garden, containing the names of a further 24,000 British seamen and 50 Australian seamen, listed on the walls of the sunken garden. In the centre of the garden is a pool of bronze, engraved with a compass pointing north.

    Between the two memorials are two columns with statues, one of an officer, the other a seaman. This was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 5 November 1955.

    The main inscription, located in between the two columns, reads....

    "THE TWENTY-FOUR THOUSAND OF THE MERCHANT NAVY AND FISHING FLEETS WHOSE NAMES ARE HONOURED ON THE WALLS OF THIS GARDEN GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY AND HAVE NO GRAVE BUT THE SEA."

    So sad that so many lie at Sea, but on a happier note, here is a very beautiful reminder of these brave men.

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    Wellington Arch

    by kris-t Updated Jul 8, 2012

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    Wellington Arch
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    This gorgeous stone arch designed as an entrance to Buckingham Palace Commissioned by George IV, this splendid London landmark was originally designed in 1825 by the architect Burton, as a grand outer entrance to Buckingham Palace. Later, in 1882, the arch was moved to its present place. A statue of the Duke of Wellington on horseback was the first work of art to crown it, but its was too massive and was soon replaced by the present sculpture - the angel of peace descending on the chariot of war.

    The arch is currently home to a fascinating display - Lived in London: Celebration of Blue Plaques. This exhibition represent the history of Blue Plaques from 1866 to the present day.

    Adult :£3.00
    Children:£1.50
    Concession:£2.30

    (11)

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  • TheLongTone's Profile Photo

    Dear Albert

    by TheLongTone Updated Jan 7, 2012

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    The Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens opposite the Albert Hall is a wonderful thing. Erected to commemorate Queen Victoria's adored husband, it embodies everything that makes Victorian taste so wonderful or appalling (delete according to personal preference). I'm rather fond of it, always have been. And I used to know a great deal about it, having spent a great deal of time at college writing an extended essay on it. This was long time ago, when you could actually walk right up to, and before the statuary's gold leaf was restored (it had been stripped off in 1940 in order to prevent its glittering acting as a navigation aid for the Luftwaffe-as if the Thames wasn't enough).

    I'm sure Erich von Daniken, writer of the ludicrous Chariots of the Gods never saw the Albert memorial, otherwise he surely would have used it as an example: the iconography is clear, illustrating the astronaut, guidance systems and flames (represented by bas-relief figures) supporting the craft as it descends.

    It was paid for by public subscription and designed by Gilbert Scott, architect of the St Pancras station hotel and the uncharacteristically Italianate Foreign Office, who based his design on the form of medaeval reliquaries.

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    Wellington Arch

    by Britannia2 Written Apr 2, 2011

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    Wellington Arch
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    A very impressive monument that was planned in 1825 to commemorate Englands victories in the Napoleanic wars. It was designed to be an impressive gateway in to London from the west.
    Now of course it stands in a very busy urgan area and is an isolated traffic island - traffic swirls around it but it is a small oasis in a busy area.
    The arch is hollow inside and owned by English Heritage. There are 3 floors of exhibits that show the history of the arch and at the top good views can be had over Hyde Park, Green Prk and even in to the gardens of Buckingham Palace.
    One side of the arch is actually a ventilation shaft for the Underground and so if you see smoke coming out of the top do not think the arch is on fire!
    The Arch is open from 10.00 to 17.00 and it costs £3.90 (April 11) with concessions possible, to visit the arch.

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