Marble Arch
Marble Arch is a white Carrara- marble monument at the junction of Oxford Street, Park Lane, and Edgware Road, almost directly opposite Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park in London, England. The arch is on a large traffic island, which also includes a very small park, in the midst of swirling traffic. The traffic island is directly across from the Marble Arch tube station. The name "Marble Arch" also refers to the locality in west London where the arch is situated, particularly, the southern portion of Edgware Road. Historically, only members of the royal family and the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, have been allowed to pass through the arch in ceremonial procession.

In 1828, John Nash designed the arch based on the triumphal arch of Constantine in Rome. It was originally erected on The Mall as a gateway to the new Buckingham Palace, which was rebuilt by Nash from the former Buckingham House. At that time, Buckingham Palace did not yet have its present flat east front, which meant that the inner courtyard, flanked by two wings, was still open on one side. The Marble Arch was placed at the entrance to this open side of the courtyard. In 1855, the arch was moved to its present location during the building of the east front of the palace. (A popular story says that the arch was moved because it was too narrow for the Queen's state coach to pass through, but, in fact, the gold state coach passed under it during Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953). It has been speculated that the arch might be moved across the street to Hyde Park, or to some other more-accessible location, instead of its current position on a large traffic island.

There are three small rooms inside the arch that were used as a police station until 1950, first for the royal constables of the Park and later the Metropolitan Police. One policeman stationed there during the early 1860s was Samuel Parkes, who won the Victoria Cross in the Charge of the Light Brigade in 1854, during the Crimean War. Due to Nash's financial problems, some sculptures intended for the arch ended up on the façade of the National Gallery. In particular are those high up on the east façade, opposite the Edith Cavell memorial, Britannia , and above the old main entrance, under the portico. The statues missing from under the portico were originally intended to represent the campaigns of the Duke of Wellington. These sculptures include reclining personifications of Europe and Asia/India, with a blank roundel between them. Had the arch been completed as planned, the Duke of Wellington's face would have been depicted in the roundel.


The nearest London Underground station is Marble Arch on the Central Line. The area around the arch forms a major road junction connecting Oxford Street to the east, Park Lane ( A4202) to the south, Bayswater Road ( A402) to the west, and Edgware Road ( A5) to the north-west. The short road directly to the north of the arch is also known as Marble Arch. The area once was home to the largest cinema screen in London at the Odeon Marble Arch cinema. The screen was originally over 75 feet (23 m) wide. The Odeon showcased 70 mm films in a large circle-and-stalls auditorium. The cinema was converted into a mini-plex in 1997. The arch is near the largest Marks & Spencer store in the United Kingdom. The arch also stands close to the site of the Tyburn gallows (sometimes called 'Tyburn Tree'), a place of public execution from 1388 until 1793.

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Public transport access London Buses Marble Arch 2, 10, 16, 36, 73, 74, 82, 137, 159, 148, 414, 436 London Underground Marble Arch

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