Admiralty Arch – A London Arch and Ceremonial Gateway to Buckingham Palace:
Admiralty Arch is easily my favourite London arch. Often described as a triple archway, there are actually five arches when you count the two smaller outer arches. This grand archway is the ceremonial gateway to Buckingham Palace and it also allows vehicular traffic and pedestrian access between Trafalgar Square and The Mall.
In Honour of Queen Victoria
Admiralty Arch was originally commissioned by King Edward VII in memory of his mother, Queen Victoria. The Latin inscription at the top translates as follows: “In the tenth year of King Edward VII, to Queen Victoria, from most grateful citizens, 1910”. Edward however did not live to see the work completed.
Admiralty Arch was designed by Sir Ashton Webb in 1910 and building completed in 1912. His plan was to provide an elegant ceremonial passage from Trafalgar Square towards Buckingham Palace and this he has achieved extremely well. The Arch got its name from the Old Admiralty Building to which it is linked. The massive central arch is only opened for state occasions. The two arches on either side of the central arch are for vehicular traffic whereas the small outer arches are for pedestrian traffic.
Admiralty Arch Has a Nose?
A curious feature of Admiralty Arch is its “nose”. Not many people know this or would have seen this Admiralty Arch nose as it is on the inside wall of the northern-most arch and set at a height of about seven feet up from the ground.
No one knows for sure why or how this protrusion, which is the size and shape of a human nose, got there. However, we can always rely on trusty legends to explain unusual occurrences. According to a legend, the nose was put there in honour of the Duke of Wellington who is known for having a large nose. As Royal soldiers rode through the arch, they would rub Wellington’s nose for good luck. Believe it, Believe it Not! But next time you’re in London, this is something to check out.
Map of London: