Nelson's Column

4 Must-See Monoliths in London

As you may have noticed in the title, today we are going to take a look at some of the most exquisite upright monuments of London (and no, we are not talking about Kubrick’s monolith in this article). While London in and of itself is a massive melting pot of monuments and landmarks, we want you to keep the ones on this list in mind as they all offer unique insight into the hearts of their creators. And if that isn’t enough for your longing soul, then you should just gape at how tall some of them are. If spire-like art is your thing, then you might want to buckle up for a fun ride (wink)!

1. Nelson’s Column:
No matter where you are visiting from, you are bound to hit Trafalgar Square at one time or another. There you will find Nelson’s Column, one of the most imposing sights of central London. Listed as a Grade I building within the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, it was a joint operation between the following artists and architects: William Railton, E. H. Baily, Sir Edwin Landseer, Musgrave Watson, William F. Woodington, John Ternouth, and, of course John Edward Carew. Situated majestically in the centre of the aforementioned square, it was erected between the years 1840 and 1843 at the cost of 47,000 pounds. Considered a column of the Corinthian order, it reaches a maximum height of 51.59 metres. Made of Dartmoor granite and bronze, the monument has four bronze lions at its base been added in 1867.

2. Cleopatra’s Needle:
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to glare at an awe-inspiring obelisk while also feeling the mellow breeze that the River Thames lugs about? Well, if you have, then it is your lucky day, for Cleopatra’s Needle, a prominent monolith for our list, is found in the City of Westminster, upon the Victoria Embankment adjacent to the Golden Jubilee Bridges. Commemorating the triumph of Lord Nelson at the Battle of the Nile and that of Sir Ralph Abercromby at the Battle of Alexandria, it is designated a Grade I building within the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Made entirely of granite (like the Great Pyramid) and reaching a sky-piercing height of 21 metres, it is inscribed with peculiar Egyptian hieroglyphs and weighs approximately 224 tons. Definitely a must-see for people who have also been to Egypt!

3. Edith Cavell Memorial:
While not exactly a sky-piercing monolith (though still soaring at a height of 12 metres), the Edith Cavell Memorial does deserve a spot on our list. Dedicated to the famous British nurse who saved the lives of more than 200 soldiers, Edith Cavell, it is a sight that must not be left out when visiting London. Designed by Sir George Frampton and boasting a lively statue of its subject, it was only fitting that it should also be designated a Grade I building within the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest like all the previous entries. Made primarily of Carrara marble and grey Cornish granite, it is located in St Martin’s Place, adjacent to Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery – an excellent chance to take a peek at it after Nelson’s Column (wink).

4. Guards Memorial:
Situated majestically on the western side of Horse Guards Road, right next to the Horse Guards Parade, Guards Memorial (also known as “Guards Division War Memorial”) commemorates the esteemed royal custodians who gave their lives during World War I and World War II. Overshadowed by massive 12-metre-tall obelisk (almost exactly as tall as the Edith Cavell Memorial), the monument stands upon an exquisite white stone base with three steps. Listed, of course, as a Grade I building within the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest (upgraded after its Grade II status in 2014), the monument was designed by Liverpool-born master architect H. Chalton Bradshaw. The aforementioned platform is decorated by the bronze representations of the royal heroes and they are as livid as such statues can get. Don’t leave this one out, especially if you are into military stuff (wink)!

Did you enjoy our list? Which of the above-mentioned monuments have you witnessed and what lasting impressions have they left you with? Hit the comment section below and tell us all about it! See you next time!

Cleopatra's Needle

Cleopatra’s Needle

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