Saturday, 7 May 2011

Marble Arch and Hyde Park East

Designed in 1828 by John Nash Marble Arch was originally the entrance to Buckingham Palace. When the Palace was extended to its current configuration the Arch was moved to its current position (in 1852); although these days it is somewhat isolated by the roads around it - it is effectively on a (very large) traffic island along with Marble Arch Underground Station. There is frequent speculation that it might be moved across the road to Hyde Park, but nothing has come to pass.

Hyde Park has a lot of attractions. Opposite Marble Arch is Speakers Corner; where speakers can talk on any topic and debate and speech on any topic can take place. This right to free speech is not limited to Speaker's Corner (or any of the other Speaker's Corners in the UK) but provides a useful rallying point. Nobody was talking there on Saturday when I was there.

There is also a lot of public art and memorials in and around Hyde Park.  On the left is Nic Fiddian-Green's 'Mawari Head'. On the right The Jelly Baby Family, work of sculptor Mauro Perucchett - a temporary installation.

On Park Lane is Lorenzo Quinn's 'Vroom Vroom' a giant hand holding a Fiat 500. Both the sculptures on the right are only on display until Spring 2011.

There are also a number of memorials in Hyde Park. On the East side there are: the monument to Animals in War and also the memorial to the victims of the terrorist attacks on July 7 2005.

There is one post for each person who died, stamped with the location, date and time - and a plaque listing the names of those who died.

 You can plan your visit to Hyde Park (or any of the Royal Parks) using their website.