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Nelsons Column

 

Images

  • Nelson's Column London
  • Trafalgar Square at sunset
  • Trafalgar Square at sunset

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Other Information

  • Nelson's Column was built to commemorate the dead British naval hero, Horatio Nelson, who was killed in the Battle of Trafalgar which the square it is hosted in is named after.
  • The column was proposed immediately after Nelson's death and the Committee of the Patriotic Fund raised 1,330 from public subscriptions. Thanks to interest this had swollen to 5,545 in 1838 when another appeal was run.
  • Championed by the Duke of Wellington this decided on a fluted corinthian column bigger than Buonaparte's Column in the Place Vendome at Paris and began work. When the fund ran dry the British government stepped in and donated the remaining 12,000 needed to finish the project.
  • The statue of Nelson on the top is 5.5 metres tall and looks towards the British Parliament at Westminster. It was originally intended to be bronze but the lack of funds saw it carved from two single huge blocks of stone brought from Granton quarry in Scotland.
  • The entire column heavily references Anglo French rivalry. At the top of the column Nelson stands on bronze acanthus leaves symbolising a victor's laurel that are taken from British cannons.
  • In contrast, the square pedestal at the bottom of the statue is decorated by four bronze panels cast from captured French guns depicting the Battle of the Nile, the death of Nelson at Trafalgar complete with sailors from around the Empire in the background including an African, the bombardment of Copenhagen and the Battle of St Vincent.
  • A laser study conducted in 2006 measured the precise height of the entire column and statue and found it to be substantially shorter than it's often quoted height of 56 metres although Victorian books seem to have got the height more or less correct.

Companies

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Architect
Edward Hodges Baily
William Railton
Developer
Committee of the Patriotic Fund
Main Contractor
Peto & Grissell
Renovation Architect
David Ball Restoration Ltd

Reference Data

Reference No.
2491
First Uploaded
19-02-2006
Last Editorial Date
18-04-2014
 

Building Location

Address
Trafalgar Square, London. WC2
Council
Westminster
County
London
Region
London
Country
United Kingdom

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Building Specification

Status
Complete
Proposal date
1805
Construction start date
1840
Completion date
1843
Renovation Date
2006
Heritage Status
Grade I
Style
Neo Classical

Pinnacle Height (AGL)
51.64
Roof Height (AGL)
46.00

Market Data

Primary Use
Monuments


Construction Cost
£47,500.00
Budget Date
1843

Metres > Feet