Marble Arch in London
Marble Arch is a white Carrara marble monument that now stands on a large traffic island at the junction of Oxford Street, Park Lane, and Edgware Road, almost directly opposite Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park in London, England. Until 1851 it stood in front of Buckingham Palace.
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.
The name "Marble Arch" also refers to the locality in west London where the arch is situated, particularly, the southern portion of Edgware Road. There also is an underground station named after it.
The arch was designed in 1825 by John Nash as ceremonial entrance to the new Buckingham Palace,
The marble soon lost its whiteness in the polluted London atmosphere. In 1847, Sharpe's London Magazine described it as "discoloured by smoke and damp, and in appearance resembling a huge sugar erection in a confectioner's shop window".
In 1851 the arch was moved to its present location, an architectural model, made in around 1826, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum shows it with a continuous relief of the Battle of Waterloo on one side and scenes of naval engagements on the other. In 1829, a bronze equestrian statue of George IV was commissioned from Sir Francis Chantrey, with the intention of placing it on top of the arch. It was instead installed on a plinth in Trafalgar Square.
The friezes intended for the arch were used to decorate Buckingham Palace.Other sculptures originally made for the arch were instead used on the façade of the National Gallery.
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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 ft 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, which opened in 1930.
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.