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Achilles

This tribute to the Duke of Wellington and his men, cast by Sir Richard Westmacott from captured cannon, was unveiled in 1822. Oddly, the sword was only added in 1864. London’s first nude, it caused controversy and so a fig leaf was added. It has been broken off twice - in 1870 and 1961.

Tube: Hyde Park Corner

Acquired in 1536 by King Henry VIII from the monks of Westminster for use as a hunting ground, the park was opened to the public by King Charles in the 1630s. In the 1730s, Queen Caroline used the Westbourne River to make the Serpentine, although Henry VIII had started the process by damming the river to make drinking ponds for his deer.

Tube: Hyde Park Corner

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Hyde Park 1 2

Little Nell

An artificial stone copy of 1975 replaces an 1896 original by William Robert Colton (1867-1921). Colton - a notable Victorian sculptor - is best known for the Royal Artillery Memorial on The Mall, a few notable public works in Australia and The Girdle, a sensuous nude now in the Tate Britain collection.

Tube: Hyde Park Corner

Cavalry Memorial

Sculpted by Adrian Jones (1845-1938), this statue of George trampling a dragon under his horse’s hooves is the focus every May of the Cavalry Memorial Parade. It is cast from guns captured in World War I. Jones’s best-known work is the massive chariot and horses atop the nearby Constitution arch at Hyde Park Corner.

Tube: Hyde Park Corner

Reformers Tree

This mosaic of 2000 commemorates a tree burnt down during the Reform League riots in 1866. The stump became a focal point for meetings and notices. Attempts by the authorities to stop them led directly to the birth of Speakers’ Corner in 1872. In 1977, a new oak was planted nearby by Prime Minister James Callaghan.

Tube: Hyde Park Corner

Joy of Life

By T B Huxley-Jones, this 1963 work was paid for by the Constance Fund. Inspired by the Neptune Fountain in Bologna, Italy, painter and philanthropist Sigismund Goetz (1866-1939) set up the fund named for his wife, Constance ‘to promote the art of sculpture’ particularly in an outdoor setting.

Hyde Park, Park Lane W1
Tube: Hyde Park  Corner

Artemis

Lady Feodora Gleichen (1861-1922), the first (if posthumous) woman member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, produced this chaste bronze of the huntress Diana in 1899. It was donated by a female private owner to Hyde Park in 1906 and stands in the Rose Garden.

Rotten Row, Hyde Park W1
Tube: Hyde Park Corner

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