Passing by Aldershot the other day I espied the famous statue of Wellington, which once upon a time sat on top of the Wellington Arch when it was aligned with Decimus Burton’s famous screen.
I am always amused by the cartoon by John Leech which depicts the statue being moved down Edgeware Road on its way to the Hyde Park Corner site. The luckless resident is terrified by the enormous figure.
The sculpture was carried out by Matthew Wyatt and it was a remarkable feat as the figure was at that time the largest equestrian figure ever made and was technically very challenging for the times. Once on the Wellington Arch it looked out of proportion and Decimus Burton, also the architect of the Arch, disliked the combination.
It was not until 1882 that the statue was removed when Hyde Park Corner was realigned. Wellington was dead by then and sensitivities no longer existed. The statue was eventually moved to Aldershot where it now looks splendid after a restoration a few years ago.