Marble Arch is a white Carrara marble (with some marble pieces extracted near Seravezza) 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 the City of Westminster, London. Until 1851 it stood in front of Buckingham Palace.
History of Marble Arch
Marble Arch was designed in 1827 by John Nash as the triumphal gateway to Buckingham Palace. At the time John Nash was an accomplished architect who was largely responsible for changing the architectural face of the city during the early
19th-century thanks to his work on Regent Street, Buckingham Palace, Cumberland Terrace and his master plan for the Marylebone area, now the area around Regent’s Park.
Marble Arch Hyde Park
In 1851 the arch was moved to its current site at the northeast corner of Hyde Park. Some stories say it was moved because its center arch was too narrow for coaches to pass through, others claim that when the palace was expanded in 1851, Queen Victoria requested more personal space for her family.
Historically, only members of the royal family and the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, have been allowed to pass through the arch in a 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.
Arches in London
Three small rooms inside the rebuilt arch were used as a police station from 1851 until at least 1968 (John Betjeman made a programme inside it in 1968 and referred to it as a fully functional police station). It firstly housed 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.
It has been speculated that the arch might be moved across the street to Hyde Park, or to a more accessible location than its current position on a large traffic island
Though the gate once served as the main entrance to the palace, today – to many Londoner’s distress – it is found at some kind of no man’s land, serving as a gateway between the neighborhoods of Bayswater and Marylebone. Back when it was located near Buckingham Palace, only senior members of the Royal Family, as well as the Royal Horse Artillery and King’s Troop, could pass through the Marble Arch. Today, however, you can freely walk through the arches.
The nearest Marble Arch tube station
England Trains – Information on getting and reading your train ticket, the high speed, and regional train system; a link o train schedules.