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Live and breathe the story of England at royal castles, historic gardens, forts & defences, world-famous prehistoric sites and many others.
Wellington Arch is now open for you to visit. You will need to book your timed tickets in advance and tickets are available to book now. We have introduced limits on visitor numbers to help keep everyone safe, and you won’t be able to visit without your booking confirmation. If you’re a Member, your ticket will be free, but you still need to book in advance. There will be other new steps in place to ensure everyone’s safety, so your visit will be a little different.
We have introduced limits on visitor numbers to help keep everyone safe, and you won’t be able to visit without your booking confirmation. If you’re a Member, your ticket will be free, but you still need to book in advance. To book your visit, click here.
Although things might be a little different when you visit, you’ll still be able to enjoy exploring the places where history really happened. And you’ll still be given a warm and safe welcome by our friendly – if socially distant – staff and volunteers.
Architects including Robert Adam and John Soane produce speculative designs for magnificent city gates at Hyde Park Corner, but the government is unwilling to pay for them.
The Duke of Wellington and the Seventh Coalition's triumph at Waterloo ends the Napoleonic Wars.
Parliament commits £300,000 for the commemoration of Britain's victory over Napoleon.
King George IV plans the remodelling of Buckingham Palace – including a pair of grand outer gates at Hyde Park Corner.
Find out more about the history of Wellington Arch
The Office of Woods and Forests instructs its architect, Decimus Burton, to design these gates. His proposal for a screen and an arch is approved by George IV.
The screen is almost completed. Burton asks the Treasury for the funds to execute the planned sculptural decoration of the arch.
With the redevelopment of Buckingham Palace costing far more than anticipated, the Treasury decides not to give Burton the funds. His arch is left mostly undecorated.
The king approves the Duke of Rutland's scheme to erect a monument honouring Wellington on top of the incomplete 'Green Park Arch'.
A controversial monument is chosen and created: a gigantic, 8.5 metre high equestrian statue of the Duke cast in bronze by Matthew Wyatt. Burton is horrified.
The enormous statue is erected for a trial period, attracting widespread derision for its peculiar proportions. It remains in place after an intervention from Wellington himself.
The arch is dismantled because of a road widening scheme, and reconstructed a short distance away, on its present site. Nobody wants the Wellington statue re-erected on top.
Wyatt's statue is unveiled at its new home in Aldershot. A new statue of Wellington is commissioned.
The new statue, by Joseph Boehm, is erected - and remains in place, next to the arch, to this day. By this point, one pier of the arch is in use as a park-keeper's residence, the other as a police station.
The royal household finds funding for a new statue for the arch: a splendid quadriga by Adrian Jones.
Jones's quadriga is erected on top of the arch. Edward VII, who took a keen interest in its creation, dies in 1910, before it is completed.
The police station, said to be the smallest in London, closes.
The Park Lane widening scheme turns Hyde Park Corner into a huge roundabout, damaging the architectural setting of the arch.
English Heritage takes on responsibility for the long-term care of the Arch. £1.5 million is spent on repairs and converting the interior into an exhibition space.
Learn more about Wellington Arch