Sunday, February 26, 2012

0.8 The South End of the Square

At the very southern end of Trafalgar Square stands an Equestrian Statue of Charles I. This Statue was created during his reign and was ordered destroyed by the Authority that followed his demise and the Civil War. The man commissioned to do this is believed to have confirmed its destruction, and collected some funds for that service. It is believed that, like so many of the time, he was neutral enough to have secured the Contract, but Loyal enough, or appreciative of the craftsmanship, that his "destruction" was simply a burial in the garden of his property. It emerged shortly after the Restoration, and was incorporated into Nash's urban renewel that gave birth to the Square.

As we find ourselves in the middle of the traffic roundabout that is the functional centre of the metropolis, between Whitehall, a busy road to the south, and centre of the Kingdom's Administration, Admiralty Arch and The Mall that extends SW to Buckingham Palace, Cockspur Street and Pall Mall that gives access to the West, Charing Cross Road that leads north, the Strand, (that old road along the north shore of the River Thames) towards the City of London, and Northumberland Avenue, a short and bustling thoroughfare to the river, we see a man on a horse. Here stands the famous statue of Charles I. It stands on the same ground were stood Edward I's Eleanor Cross. There is great history, right here. It is an intersection of roads that predate the roman roads. There was an ancient fishing village near here that gave us the name Charing. It is here that the distance to London is measured, throughout the UK, despite the fact that it is Westminster, not London. The man on the horse appear to cast a long look down Whitehall as if to see his execution taking place on a platform adjacent to the Royal Banqueting House. And here, as seen in this photo, is the great Square dedicated to the most victorious, illustrious and heroic Admiral Horatio Nelson, and his last battle, at which the English destroyed Napoleon's larger navy, and ended the Emperor’s imminent invasion efforts. And it is in this Square where the English gather for great celebrations, and important demonstrations. And finally, in the day to day life of the world's greatest city, this is the heart of the most significant Transport system, bar none. I should add that 7 million tourists come here, each year, to watch and photograph their children, climbing on Landseer's Lions and ducking and dodging hungry pigeons. Priceless!