London has a well documented history of being a haven for artists. Wit museums such as Tate Britain, the National Portrait Gallery and the Saatchi Gallery, it’d be difficult to visit an area of the city and not find a studio or a gallery. These galleries are steeped in the work of internationally renowned creatives whilst also forming a part of the cities history, whether it be in the form of paintings, sculptures or even the very architecture of the building. However, you needn’t go inside to marvel at the artistic grandeur or London. With the statues of the city acting almost as bookmarks and signposts to specific areas within London, these monuments can often be some of the most astounding works of art, commemorating events and figures close to the heart of the capital. If you are staying in hotels such as the Park Grand London Paddington you’ll be surrounded by these amazing locations, so look for the parks and squares in your area to learn some hidden facts about the city and its inhabitants.
Peter Pan Statue
Based in Kensington Gardens, the Peter Pan Statue is one of the most iconic features to the beautiful gardens. Commissioned by the writer of Peter Pan, JM Barrie and built by George Frampton, the statue depicts a bronze Peter Pan upon a rock holding a pipe or flute, with figures from the story beneath him. The reason for the statue in Kensington Gardens is that many of JM Barrie’s stories were inspired by his walks through the terraced garden. Those staying at hotels near Bayswater tube station may like to know that JM BArrie grew up in the area, and that the location of the statue in the gardens is the exact location where Peter Pan lands in his story.
Shaftesbury Memorial fountain
Erected in 1892, the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain stands in the centre of Piccadilly Circus and commemorates the work of Lord Shaftesbury, a Victorian era politician and philanthropist who helped to abolish child worker abuses as well as upholding miners rights. He also abolished the inhumane job of chimney sweeping, which had led to terrible health in young boys in the London area. The reforms that Shaftesbury triggered were more than deserving of this beautiful statue in the heart of Piccadilly Circus, depicting a winged nude statue on a bronze fountain.
Parliament Square has seen a range of statues of influential figures and leaders from throughout history. These include a bronze statue of Nelson Mandela, Earl and politician Benjamin Disraeli, David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill. Igt is no surprise that you would find statues of famous leaders in Parliament Square, so close to the heart of the British Houses of Parliament.
Nelson’s Column is located in Trafalgar Square and depicts the heroic Horatio Nelson, Admiral of the British Navy and victor of the Battle of Trafalgar which quelled an attack from Spanish and French troops under Napoleon. This battle lent its name to the square in which Nelson’s Column stands. This huge column rises over 50 metres and is made from granite and bronze. The column is one of the most well known statues in the country, depicting Horatio Nelson himself atop it, who’s death and victory at Trafalgar are commemorated on a plaque.