Having a rich history, the beautiful Trafalgar Square with its colossal Nelson’s column lies in the heart of London. A place full of life, it provides Londoners and outsiders boundless opportunities of enjoyment. The place is extremely popular among public and is used for a number of activities such as the Royal Wedding, St Patrick’s Day, the Chinese New Year, photography, and rallies and demonstrations. It also serves as a platform for new artistic performances and events. As is indicated by its name, the square was founded as a memorial of Lord Nelson’s unforgettable victory at Trafalgar— that great national hero who had won four naval battles and who had sacrificed his life in the combat against the French and Spanish fleets in 1805. As to its brief history, the area where the square lies today used to be the courtyard of the stable of the Whitehall palace and was known by the Mews area. In the early 1800s the Mews area was cleared, and in 1812, architect John Nash proposed to build up a street from Charring Cross to Portland Place that would form an open square in the Mews area opposite to the Charring Cross. He wanted that open area to be public place. In 1830, it was given the official name Trafalgar Square. In 1832, construction of National Gallery was started, designed by William Wilkins. In 1816, proposal for building a monument to Nelson was made in the British Parliament. In 1838, after a public subscription was raised, Trafalgar Square was chosen as the site, and the erection of a column upon the recommendation of the Duke of Wellington. In January 1839, William Railton’s model was chosen out of the 118 drawings and 41 models submitted before the selection committee. In 1840, work began on erecting the Nelson’s Column. Designed by William Railton, it is a granite column 185 feet tall having the Lord Nelson’s statue mounted on the top of it— a masterpiece of E. H. Bailey. The column is of the same proportions as those of the temple of Mars Ultor in Rome, being of Corinthian order. Four bronze relief panels are designed one the four sides of its pedestal, each depicting one of Nelson’s four victories: (1) the victory of Cape St Vincent, commenced by Watson and finished by Woodington; (2) the bombardment of Copenhagen, by Turnouth; (3) the victory of the Nile, by Woodington; and (4) the death of Nelson, by Carew. In 1842, Sir Charles Barry, the architect of Westminster Palace, suggested a development plan for Trafalgar Square that consisted of a lower level square having the Nelson Memorial Statue and two fountains and linked by a staircase. In 1845, the fountains included in Sir Charles Barry’s plan were built. In 1867 were fixed four magnificent lines at the four corners of its base, carved in granite by Sir Edwin Landseer. In July 2003, after the completion of an eighteen months project to transform the Trafalgar Square, it was reopened by the mayor of London. Traffic from the northern side is removed and a central staircase is added. Also, a café, public toilets, and lifts for disabled persons are a new addition.
Thomas Neal was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He was a bookseller before shifting to publishing where he worked at a literary development company, a creative writing website for millennials, and as a book reviewer of adult and young adult novels. He lives in New York City and is obviously a voracious reader. He has just released his debut novel and working on his second already!