Wellington Arch, or Constitution Arch, at Hyde Park Corner stands in the centre of a huge traffic island.
The archway, was designed by Decimus Burton, and erected in 1828 as a memorial to Sir Arthur Wellsley, 1st Duke of Wellington, soldier and Prime Minister and crowned by a giant statue of the Duke astride a horse, originally stood as a grand entrance to London.
However, in 1882, as part of a road widening scheme, the arch was moved to its current home and the statue of Wellington was removed at the same time.
In 1912 this was replaced by and immense bronze sculpture, ‘Quadriga’, by Adrian Jones. Before it was installed Jones held a party in which eight guests were seated for dinner in the hollow, boat-shaped body of one of the horses!!!
Until 1992 the arch housed London’s second smallest police station, the smallest is located in Trafalgar Square.
Since 1999 the Wellington Arch has been in the care of English Heritage. The building has now been restored and opened to the public for the first time and inside are three floors of exhibits detailing the history of the arch and some of its uses. From the balcony are good views of the London Eye, Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace.
Because of its position at the top of Constitution Hill, Wellington Arch is sometimes referred to as Constitution Arch.