Moving statues No.2: Wellington

Wellington at Aldershot

Queen Anne moving from St Paul’s to Sussex (see post below) reminded me of Wellington’s statue at Aldershot (above). Made from 40 tons of bronze, mainly from cannon captured at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the statue of Wellington (victor of the battle) on his famous horse, Copenhagen, is nearly 30 feet high and 26 feet long. Sculpted by Matthew Wyatt in 1846, it originally sat atop Constitution Arch (which is why it is now commonly  known as Wellington Arch). The illustration below shows how out of scale it was.

Even Queen Victoria thought it spoiled her view from Buckingham Palace but such was the popularity of Wellington that it could not be moved until after he died in 1852 at the age of 83. It was another 30 years before Hyde Park Corner was realigned because of increasing traffic, when the statue was taken down and moved to Green Park, being replaced with the present figure of Victory in her chariot.

In 1883, the Prince of Wales suggested that the statue should go to the home of the British Army. It took four days to move it, using a team of 16 horses, to where it now stands on Round Hill in Wellesley Road, Aldershot.

Wellington on Constitution Arch

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