Nelson's Column

Nelson's Column is a monument in the centre of Trafalgar Square in London.


Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square

It was built between 1840 and 1843 to commemorate Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. It consists of a 5.5m (18ft) statue of Nelson on top of a 56 m granite column. The statue faces south, towards the Palace of Westminster. The top of the Corinthian column is decorated with bronze acanthus leaves cast from British cannon. The square pedestal is decorated with four bronze panels, cast from captured French guns, depicting Nelson's four great victories.

The monument was designed by architect William Railton in 1838. His original 1:22-scale stone model is exhibited at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

In May 2003 a BASE jumper parachuted from the top of the column to draw attention to the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

A similar monument, Nelson's Pillar, was erected previously in Dublin in 1808 and blown up by a rogue IRA group in 1966.

  • John Timbs, Curiosities of London, 1867
  • Nelson's Column was the first of many English buildings to be abducted in the animated film, Freddie as F.R.O.7.


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