Marble Arch

Marble Arch was designed by John Nash in 1828. Built of white Carrara marble, the design was based on the triumphal Arch of Constantine in Rome.  Originally, it was erected to form a grand gateway to Buckingham Palace, but when the Palace was extended in 1851, the Arch was moved to its current location as an entrance to Hyde Park. 

The design of the arch contains three archways, with Corinthian columns between, sculptural reliefs in the panels above the subsidiary arches, and wreaths at the ends.  Keystone bearded heads form the keystones of each arch.  The south side (park side) contains winged Victories with wreaths, and reliefs showing a Roman-looking naval warrior with Justice on one panel, and Peace and Plenty on the other.  On the north side, the reliefs include three female figures representing England, Ireland and Scotland.

The area in which Marble Arch now stands used to be known as Tyburn, the site of the three-legged gallows, a place where crowds gathered to witness public executions.  In June of 2004 the arch was being renovated and was partially covered in scaffolding; the photo on the left shows the arch before renovation.

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