visiting trafalgar square

Trafalgar Square, a spot in London that has captured the imagination of many a tourist, historian, art lover, protestor, film maker and much more. A spot owned by the Queen and Crown with a centre piece that is Nelson’s Column with a backdrop of fountains and the impressive National Gallery. The latter being the stage for a meeting I was attending. I was early, the sun was beaming down and gave an opportunity for me to take a wander round.

steps to the library in Trafalgar Square
wide angled view of Trafalgar Square

John Nash, the architect of buildings as grand as Buckingham Palace, was in the 1820s tasked with clearing the Royal Mews of this area. From then on various people had a hand in shaping this area to the attraction it is today. The 1830s brought William Wilkins and the National Gallery (opened 1838). William was to create the square itself but his death brought in Charles Barry (designed the Houses of Parliament) whom changed the plans and used steps, balcony areas and plinths to solve a sloped area problem and the give the National gallery more grandeur.

Charles had no say in Nelson’s Column though, in fact he had a belief that the square should have no items of art whatsoever. William Railton was the man tasked with the monument, a Corinthian column, Nelson’s statue atop and surrounded by 4 lions, which were added over 20 years later in the 186os.

Lion statue in Trafalgar Square
art on nelson's column

Trafalgar Square is home to 2 fountains that always have a crowd or two gathered around, especially in the sunshine. The fountains were built so as the stop the whole area being taken over by any big riotous group.

Social Wellness Walks

The fountains you see today are not the original ones, they were replaced in the 1940s and the old original ones bought by Canada. If you ever want to find them then one is between the Legislative Building and Wascana Lake in Regina, Saskatchewan. The other is Confederation Park Fountain in Ottawa.

big fountain in Trafalgar Square
small statue in Trafalgar Square
waterfall in Trafalgar Square

Three of the plinths have had permanent statues. One you can’t miss is George IV ipon his horse, this was actually made in the first instance to go on top of the Marble Arch. Now, the fourth plinth plays host to changing commissioned art. I am no art critic myself but I must admit the contrast and weirdness of all this history and grey stone with a big blue chicken standing high in the corner πŸ™‚

Trafalgar Square fourth plinth

It was time to head inside to my meeting, but, it was wonderful to take time to experience this spot slowly to be honest. So many times I have rushed through it getting from A to B or been heading straight inside to the gallery.

dome above trafalgar square
sunshine Trafalgar Square
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  1. They say that regardless of where you are from that if you stand in the Square long enough, some one you know will walk past!

    1. Paul Steele says:

      I can imagine that is a big chance yes πŸ™‚

  2. Beautiful pictures! Living in London it’s easy to dash around without taking the time to stop and look at places around us; Trafalgar Square is definitely one of those places.

    1. Barbara Kelly says:

      Just out of this world pictures. They just reach out and touch you!

      1. Paul Steele says:

        Thanks so very much Barbara πŸ™‚

  3. Daniel Arago says:

    Amazing photos..Trafalgar Square is a lovely place in London,been a lot of times and I love it.Congrats for your site..good work!

    1. Paul Steele says:

      Thank you Daniel, yes it is a wonderful spot

  4. I love to travel and I would love to go to Trafalgar Square in London some day. I am just wondering about the significance of the blue chicken. It was quirky and I love that but did it serve a special purpose for being there? Love the photos!!

    1. Paul Steele says:

      Hi Carli, ty.. Yes one of the 4 plinths has a piece of commissioned art that changes every so often.. Now.. it is a big blue chicken.. I know πŸ™‚

    1. Paul Steele says:

      Thanks ever so much.. The pigeons have long since gone through banning of feeding and bird of prey use in the past. There are now only about 6 resident pigeons there πŸ™‚

  5. This particular page caught my attention with many photos of Trafalgar Square, as this was one of the places where I spent quite a bit of time, when I stayed in London (at Horsequards by Thames). You live in the country where you have many things to be proud of. Thanks for letting me enjoy seeing many of your photos, Paul!! Cheers! – Saach

    1. Paul Steele says:

      Hi Saach, thx.. yes so much to see yet even for me πŸ™‚

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