Marble Arch

Marble Arch information

London , United Kingdom
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Lonely Planet review

Designed by John Nash in 1827, this huge white arch was moved here from its original spot in front of Buckingham Palace in 1851, when adjudged too unimposing an entrance to the royal manor. If you’re feeling anarchic, walk through the central portal, a privilege reserved by (unenforced) law for the Royal Family and the ceremonial King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

Lending its name to the entire area, the arch contains three rooms (inaccessible to the public) and was employed as a police hideout (two doors access the interior). A plaque on the traffic island at Marble Arch indicates the spot where the infamous Tyburn Tree, a three-legged gallows, once stood. An estimated 50,000 people were executed here between 1571 and 1783, many having been dragged from the Tower of London. During the 16th century many Catholics were executed for their faith and it later became a place of Catholic pilgrimage. The arch stands at the axis between two Roman roads (one of which is Watling Street which runs along Edgware Road, the start of the A5). To the west of the arch stands a magnificent outsize bronze sculpture of a horse's head called Still Water , created by Nic Fiddian-Green.