Sunday, November 19, 2006

Victoria Memorial by Buckingham Palace - London

Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace

This photo of The Victoria Memorial is part of one of the panoramic images found on the Tour of London. There are over 100 images taken from around London linked to an interactive map.

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The Victoria Memorial is a memorial to Queen Victoria, the longest reigning monarch in British history. The Memorial stands in the centre of the Queen’s Gardens in front of Buckingham Palace. In recent years much of the area around the Memorial has been pedestrianised, allowing visitors both easy access to the Memorial while also increasing the area you can safely stand on. From the steps of the Victoria Memorial you get a great view along The Mall to Admiralty Arch at the other end. Apart from Buckingham Palace, the memorial is surrounded by both Green Park and St. James Park.

The Victoria Memorial was built in the time when Rule Britania was a reality, and follows a nautical theme. The memorial, built in 1911 out of 2,300 tons of marble, is a combination of a central statue made by Sir Thomas Brock, surrounded by an area designed by Sir Aston Webb. The Victoria Memorial, some 82 feet high, is now a Grade 1 listed ‘building’.

The Victoria Memorial contains a large 4m statue of Queen Victoria seated on a throne facing down the Mall towards Admiralty Arch as shown in this picture. The throne and plinth she is sat on forms part of a square pillar or column supporting a bronze winged ‘Victory’ on the top. The two seated figures beside the Victory were donated by New Zealand. Plinths on the other tree faces of this central column support white marble statues of 3 angels representing the traditional Victorian values of Justice, Truth and Charity. Near the base of, and emerging from, this column 4 boats representing Britain’s rule over the oceans.

The Victoria Memorial surround is a walled area with steps up to the centre from both the Mall side and opposite on the side that faced Buckingham Palace (and is a good place to photograph the Palace). Bronze lions and men with torches guard either side of these stairways. The surround also includes large fountain basins which join the opposing stairways around either side of the fountain. At the midpoint of each wall above the fountain basins are further bronze figures.

The whole construction has earned the Victoria Memorial the nickname of “The Wedding Cake” as it represents the decoration on the top of one. In fact, if you get into a black cap and ask to be taken to ‘The Wedding Cake’ many drivers will automatically take you here to the Victoria Memorial.

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The full panoramic image taken of the Victoria Memorial and Buckingham Palace can be found on the London tour by An enlargement of this photo can be found on Flickr.

For more articles on London see the London Index or select one of the labels at the bottom.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Generally a sound article on the Memorial, but a few errors:
-the seated figures by Victory (Courage & Constancy) were not given by New Zealand, which actually gave Industry nd Agriculture (see below);
-there are only 2 angels, Justice & Truth. The third figure is not an angel & represents Motherhood, not Charity;
-the 4 figures with lions are Peace (female) & Progress (male),facing The Mall and Industry (male) & Agriculture (female) facing the Palace. Only Progress holds a torch.

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