Trafalgar Square (12): Nelson's Column And finally we remember the British hero who died at Trafalgar 200 years ago today - AdmiralLordNelson. His is the centrepiece of the square, a 156 foot Corinthian column topped off by a 17 foot stone statue. From high above the capital Nelson surveys the streets, staring one-eyed down Whitehall towards the Thames and the distant sea. But he was slow to appear. Nearly 40 years elapsed between Nelson's death and his immortalisation in stone, until at last in October 1843 his statue was ready to be raised up into position from the square below. Fourteen fearless stonemasons took this opportunity to take dinner on the platform at the top of the column, while a hundred thousand Londoners came to view the new statue resting at ground level:
At the foot of Nelson's Column are four bronze reliefs cast from captured French cannons, each depicting a different naval triumph from Nelson's career. That on the south side (pictured) portrays the death of Nelson at Trafalgar and it's a mini-history lesson in itself:
Today Nelson's Column stands tall in fitting tribute to Norfolk's most famous son and Britain's most famous sailor. It's one of the most well-known landmarks on the London skyline, and long may it remain. But it's almost an ancient monument now, so the GLA is currently inviting suitably qualified and experienced contractors to tender for its restoration. Deadline 11th November.