Nelson Column at Trafalgar Square – to commemorate Admiral Horatio Nelson who won Napoleonic wars over France and Spain
Nelson Column at Trafalgar Square is an iconic Grade 1 listed London landmark. This monument was built in Trafalgar Square to commemorate Admiral Horatio Nelson. He was a Royal Navy officer, the most Britain legendary seaman. He was famous for his bravery and excellent leadership skills. He won many naval battles and was wounded several times. His previous battles had left his right arm useless and he was blinded in one eye.
Nelson won Napoleonic wars over France and Spain. It took place on 21 October 1805 off the coast of Cape Trafalgar, Spain. It was his most famous victory. He was shot and killed aboard his flagship HMS Victory during the battle. As a national hero he is probably only rivalled by Winston Churchill.
Nelson Column height facts history
The whole Nelson Column is 169 ft 3 in (51.6 m) tall from the bottom of the pedestal to the top of Nelson’s hat. It symbolise Lord Nelson has been “keeping an eye” on the city of London, from his perch on top of Nelson’s Column. The column looking south towards Whitehall and the Palace of Westminster. There is an 18ft statue of Nelson at the top of the monument. In 1896, it was struck by lightning and Nelson’s shoulder was chipped.
The Nelson Column was constructed between 1840 and 1843 to a design by William Railton. It was raised to his position high above the Square on 4 November 1843. The pedestal was decorated with four bronze relief panels. Each padestal is 18 feet (5.5 m) square, cast from captured French guns. They depict the Battle of Cape St Vincent, the Battle of the Nile, the Battle of Copenhagen and the Death of Nelson at Trafalgar.
The four famous lions were added to the foot of the column designed by Sir Edwin Landseer. These are said to protect Nelson’s Column. It costs £47,000 to make at that time which is equivalent to more than £3 million today. Tsar of Russia alone contributed the most £12,000.
Nelson Column has symbolic importance to Adolf Hitler
The column had also a symbolic importance to Adolf Hitler. If Hitler won Operation Sea Lion to invade Britain, he planned to move Nelson Column to Berlin.
Address and nearest tube to Nelson Column
Address: Trafalgar Square, London SW1Y 5BJ. This is in the ground of Trafalgar Square.
Nearest Tube: Charing Cross (Bakerloo Line’ Northern Line)