Buckingham Palace in the City of Westminster is the official London residence of the British Sovereign. The original house was built in the early 18th Century for the Dukes of Buckingham and from this it takes its name. It was rebuilt in 1852 by John Nash for George IV and further redesigned in 1913 by Sir Aston Webb as a background for the Queen Victoria Memorial Statue. Whenever the Sovereign is in residence the Royal Standard is flown from the Palace’s flagpole and the Changing of the Guard takes place daily.
Eros, statue and fountain, was designed by Alfred Gilbert and was originally intended to represent the Angel of Christian Charity, not Eros, the Greek God of Love. the monument was erected in 1893 as a memorial to Anthony Ashley Cooper, the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, a great 19th century philanthropist and is officially named The Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain.
The central Figure was cast hollow in aluminium and delicately stands on its solid left leg which is set on the top of a series of ornately decorated octagonal bronze basins.
Eros is situated in Piccadilly Circus in the heart of London’s West End and is one of the Capital’s best known Landmarks.
Tower Bridge situated near The Tower of London, is one of London’s best known landmarks. It was built between 1886 and 1894 and features two Gothic Towers and a central drawbridge. This design was dictated by Parliament who insisted on the Gothic style because of its proximity to the Tower of London and the central drawbridge was a total necessity to allow large ships and barge trains to pass below. The Engineer was Sir John Wolfe Barry and the Architect Sir Horace Jones. The Towers contain both the passenger lifts for the upper pedestrian walkway and the hydraulic mechanisms for lifting the bascules of the bridge. The hydraulic pumps were driven by steam until 1976 when steam power was replaced by electric motors.
As well as being one of London’s best known landmarks and busiest bridges it is also open to the public as a museum.
ST. PAUL‘S CATHEDRAL
St. Paul’s Cathedral was designed and built by Sir Christoper Wren in a restrained, classical Baroque style. It was constructed using portland stone between 1675 and 1710 to replace Old St. Paul’s which was burnt to the ground in the Great Fire of London in 1666. Sir Cristopher Wren was ably assisted by the distinguished architect Nicolas Hawksmoor, the master wood-carver Grinling Gibbons who carved the Organ case and Choir Stalls and the French master Ironworker Jean Tijon. The Cathedral measures 515 feet in length, 180 feet in width across the west facade and 227 feet in width across the transepts. The central Dome is 112 feet in diameter and 365 feet high and is lined by a Gallery which is known as the “Whispering Gallery” because of the way sound is amplified in the Dome. Many well known persons, such as the Duke of Wellington and Lord Nelson are buried in the Cathedral. As well as being a major London landmark St. Paul’s Cathedral is still a popular and well used venue for State occasions.
Big Ben was originally the name given to 13-ton Bell housed in the Clock Tower on the eastern end of the Houses of Parliament. The Bell was named after Sir Benjamin Hall, the first commissioner of works at the time of its installation in 1859, and originally applied only to the Bell but has since become the name for the Clock itself. The Clock which features four giant dials, each 23 feet in diameter, and the 13-ton great Bell are housed in the 329 foot high Clock Tower.
Big Ben is one of three impressive Towers that help make up the Houses of Parliament as designed by Sir Charles Barry, in rich late Gothic style, and as well as striking every hour, Big Ben is also one of London’s best known landmarks.