Address: London W1H

1000m from Marylebone

50m from Marble Arch

Address: London W1H

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Marble Arch is an isolated arch found at the junction of Oxford Street, Park Lane and Edgeware Road and opposite Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, but what most people don’t realise is that it was once the entrance to Buckingham Palace. It was designed by celebrated 19th century architect John Nash and built between 1827-33. Sculptures, originally commissioned to adorn the arch, can now be seen in the National Gallery and inside Buckingham Palace.

The arch was moved to its current location in 1851 following courtyard redesign at the Palace. The area it was moved to was previously called Tyburn and was famous for the gallows that stood there for over 400 years. During this time around 50,000 people were hanged. Prisoners were taken from nearby Newgate prison in a horse drawn cart and when the prisoner was in place the horse was whipped and ran off, leaving the prisoner dangling by the rope. The exact spot of execution is marked by a plaque by the road.

The design of the arch itself was based on the Arch of Constantine in Rome and once had a statue of King George IV on top. This statue can now be seen in Trafalgar Square, being moved there in 1843. The arch has three rooms, one across the top and two behind the facades and these were used as a police station until 1968.

Following the redesign of Park Lane in 1960, Marble Arch became isolated by the surrounding road network, but to give it a fitting setting, the immediate area was enhanced with the addition of landscaped gardens.

By law only members of the Royal Family, the King’s Troop or the Royal Horse Artillery can drive or ride through the arch.

The name ‘Marble Arch’ is given to the area and nearby underground station. The sight of this magnificent, former Buckingham Palace archway standing near Oxford Street and Hyde Park is one of the London must sees.

Click on the pics below for an enlarged view and use the arrow towards the right edge of each pic to go on to the next.