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List of public art in Trafalgar Square and the vicinity

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This is a list of public art in and around Trafalgar Square in the City of Westminster, London.

Charing Cross, at the junction of Strand and Whitehall, was the site of the first public monument in what is now the City of Westminster,[1] the cross commissioned by Edward I late in the 13th century in memory of his queen, Eleanor of Castile. Destroyed by order of the Long Parliament in 1647,[2] the Eleanor cross was replaced after the Restoration by the equestrian statue of Charles I by Hubert Le Sueur, the oldest public sculpture now standing in the borough.[3] In 1865 a facsimile of the cross was erected in the forecourt of Charing Cross railway station. Charing Cross was declared the official centre of London in 1831[4] and a plaque marking this status was installed near Le Sueur's statue in 1955.[5]

Immediately to the north of Charing Cross lies Trafalgar Square, one of London's most famous public spaces.[6] Conceived as part of John Nash's urban improvements, the square was initially developed from the 1820s onwards.[7] Its centrepiece, Nelson's Column, was constructed in 1839–1842. Charles Barry's 1840 redesign of the square provided plinths for equestrian monuments to George IV and William IV, but sufficient funds were never raised for the latter statue.[8] Most of the memorials since added have had a military or naval flavour, an exception being the statue of the physician Edward Jenner, erected in 1858 but moved to Kensington Gardens only four years later. Another work which originally stood on the square is Hamo Thornycroft's statue of General Gordon; this was removed during World War II and reinstalled on the Victoria Embankment in 1953.

Since 1999 the formerly empty fourth plinth on Trafalgar Square has become London's most prominent showcase for temporary new sculpture.[9]

Charing Cross

Image Title / subject Location and
coordinates
Date Artist / designer Architect / other Type Designation Notes
Statue of King Charles I, Trafalgar Square - geograph.org.uk - 396971.jpg
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Statue of Charles I Charing Cross

51°30′26″N 0°07′40″W / 51.5073°N 0.1277°W / 51.5073; -0.1277 (Equestrian statue of Charles I)
1633 Hubert Le Sueur Christopher Wren Equestrian statue Grade I The earliest Renaissance-style equestrian statue in England. Originally commissioned in 1630 by Charles I's Lord High Treasurer, Lord Richard Weston, for his estate in Roehampton. Erected on the site of the Charing Cross in 1674–1675, when it was set on its current pedestal.[10] The reliefs were carved by Joshua Marshall, Master Mason to Charles II.[11]

Charing Cross station

Image Title / subject Location and
coordinates
Date Artist / designer Architect / other Type Designation Notes
Charing Cross Memorial 3 (5821600033).jpg
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Queen Eleanor Memorial Cross
Eleanor of Castile
Forecourt of Charing Cross railway station

51°30′30″N 0°07′31″W / 51.5084°N 0.1254°W / 51.5084; -0.1254 (Queen Eleanor Memorial Cross)
1865 Thomas Earp Edward Middleton Barry Memorial with sculpture Grade II* A replica of the original Eleanor cross at Charing, with some details inspired by the Oxford Martyrs' Memorial. It stands some distance away from the original location of the Charing Cross.[12]
Charing Cross tube stn Northern northbound look south.JPG Platform murals Charing Cross tube station 1979 David Gentleman N/A Murals N/A The murals on the Northern line platforms depict the construction of the medieval Charing Cross; they are reproduced from woodcuts by Gentleman at twenty times their original size.[13] The murals for the Jubilee and Bakerloo lines feature photographs of Nelson's Column and paintings in the National Gallery.[14]

Cockspur Street

Image Title / subject Location and
coordinates
Date Artist / designer Architect / other Type Designation Notes
Norway House-Roslyn 2.JPG Commerce Norway House 1914 Louis Frederick Roselieb Metcalfe & Greig [15]
Norway House-Roslyn.JPG Transport Norway House 1914 Louis Frederick Roselieb Metcalfe & Greig [15]
Norway House.JPG Industry Norway House 1914 Louis Frederick Roselieb Metcalfe & Greig [15]
Norway House 1.JPG Communications Norway House 1914 Louis Frederick Roselieb Metcalfe & Greig [15]
Londres, 14-16 Cockspur Street, SW1 Quis Separabit.jpg Asia and Britannia Brazilian Embassy 1918 Ernest George Gillick H. W. Stock and A. T. Bolton Caryatids Grade II [16]
Statue of St Olaf, Norway House, London.jpg Statue of Olaf II of Norway Norway House Gustav Lærum Johannes Thorvaldsen Westbye (Modification of building by Metcalfe & Grieg) Statue in niche

St Martin's Place

Image Title / subject Location and
coordinates
Date Artist / designer Architect / other Type Designation Notes
The Edith Cavell Memorial (5992690965) (cropped).jpg
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Memorial to Edith Cavell St Martin's Place

51°30′33″N 0°07′38″W / 51.5093°N 0.1272°W / 51.5093; -0.1272 (Memorial to Edith Cavell)
1920 George Frampton N/A Pylon with sculpture Grade I Unveiled 17 March 1920 by Queen Alexandra. The earliest World War I memorial project in England; plans for it began soon after Cavell's death in 1915. The inscription FOR KING AND COUNTRY was felt to be a travesty of Cavell's beliefs; in 1924 another was added with her words, PATRIOTISM IS NOT ENOUGH/ I MUST HAVE NO HATRED OR/ BITTERNESS FOR ANYONE.[17]

National Portrait Gallery

Image Title / subject Location and
coordinates
Date Artist / designer Architect / other Type Designation Notes
Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay St Martin's Place façade (over entrance) Ewan Christian Grade II
Philip Stanhope, 5th Earl Stanhope St Martin's Place façade (over entrance) Ewan Christian Grade II
Thomas Carlyle St Martin's Place façade (over entrance) Ewan Christian Grade II
William Lodge St Martin's Place façade (facing north) Ewan Christian Grade II
Thomas Fuller St Martin's Place façade Ewan Christian Grade II
James Granger St Martin's Place façade (facing north) Ewan Christian Grade II
William Faithorne St Martin's Place façade (facing north) Ewan Christian Grade II
Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon St Martin's Place façade Ewan Christian Grade II
Horace Walpole St Martin's Place façade Ewan Christian Grade II
Hans Holbein the Younger Irving Street façade Ewan Christian Grade II
Sir Anthony van Dyck Irving Street façade Ewan Christian Grade II
Sir Peter Lely Irving Street façade Ewan Christian Grade II
Sir Godfrey Kneller Irving Street façade Ewan Christian Grade II
William Hogarth Irving Street façade Ewan Christian Grade II
Sir Joshua Reynolds Irving Street façade Ewan Christian Grade II
Louis-François Roubiliac Irving Street façade Ewan Christian Grade II
Sir Thomas Lawrence Irving Street façade Ewan Christian Grade II
Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey Irving Street façade Ewan Christian Grade II

Trafalgar Square

Image Title / subject Location and
coordinates
Date Artist / designer Architect / other Type Designation Notes
Statue of King George IV in Trafalgar Square, London (cropped).jpg
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Statue of George IV North-eastern plinth, Trafalgar Square

51°30′30″N 0°07′39″W / 51.5083°N 0.1276°W / 51.5083; -0.1276 (Equestrian statue of George IV)
1830 Francis Legatt Chantrey Charles Barry Equestrian statue Grade II Originally intended to be the crowning feature of Marble Arch, the decorative scheme of which was cut back after George IV's death. The statue still had no home after Chantrey's death in 1843 and in December of that year it was erected in the newly laid-out Trafalgar Square.[18]

Statue of Nelson atop Nelson's Column.jpg
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Statue of Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson Centre of Trafalgar Square

51°30′28″N 0°07′40″W / 51.5077°N 0.1279°W / 51.5077; -0.1279 (Nelson's Column)
1839–1842 Edward Hodges Baily William Railton Statue on column Grade I Nelson is shown without an eyepatch, but his portrayal in this statue is not idealised by the standards of the time. The figure is given stability by the coil of rope behind. Portland stone was chosen over bronze as the statue "would [then] not be resorted to as plunder in revolutions".[19]
Nelson's column - Death of Nelson at Trafalgar relief.jpg
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The Battle of Trafalgar or The Death of Nelson South face of pedestal of Nelson's Column 1846–1849 John Edward Carew N/A Bas-relief Grade I Nelson is depicted immediately after receiving his mortal wound; Captain Hardy turns back towards him whilst sailors to the left take aim at the marksman who dealt the fatal blow. Inscribed at the bottom ENGLAND EXPECTS EVERY MAN WILL DO HIS DUTY.[20]
Nelson's column - Battle of the Nile relief (Edward Carew, 1850).jpg
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The Battle of the Nile North face of pedestal of Nelson's Column 1846–1850 William F. Woodington N/A Bas-relief Grade I Nelson has been taken below deck after being wounded in the head during the attack on the French fleet in Abu Qir Bay. Captain Edward Berry stands by his side.[21]
Nelson's column - Battle of Copenhagen relief.jpg
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The Bombardment of Copenhagen East face of pedestal of Nelson's Column 1846–1854 John Ternouth N/A Bas-relief Grade I Nelson, on board his flagship HMS Elephant, applies his seal to an ultimatum directed at the Crown Prince of Denmark. The city of Copenhagen is visible in the background.[22]
Nelson's column - Battle of Cape St Vincent relief (Musgrave Watson).jpg
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The Battle of Cape St Vincent West face of pedestal of Nelson's Column 1846–1854 Musgrave Watson and William F. Woodington N/A Bas-relief Grade I Nelson is on board a Spanish ship, the San Nicolas. A Spanish officer kneels in front of Nelson, surrendering the swords of his fellow officers. Watson died in 1847 before he could complete the work.[23]
UK-2014-London-Statue of Charles James Napier.jpg
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Statue of Charles James Napier South-western plinth, Trafalgar Square

51°30′28″N 0°07′43″W / 51.5077°N 0.1286°W / 51.5077; -0.1286 (Statue of Charles James Napier)
1855 George Gammon Adams N/A Statue Grade II Unveiled 26 November 1856. Napier holds a scroll out in his right hand, a gesture which symbolises the giving of government to Sindh. The statue was much criticised, The Art Journal calling it "perhaps the worst piece of sculpture in England".[24]
UK-2014-London-Statue of Henry Havelock.jpg
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Statue of Henry Havelock South-eastern plinth, Trafalgar Square

51°30′28″N 0°07′39″W / 51.5079°N 0.1274°W / 51.5079; -0.1274 (Statue of Henry Havelock)
1861 William Behnes N/A Statue Grade II Unveiled 10 April 1861. The pedestal is inscribed at the front with a quotation from one of Havelock's pre-battle speeches, and to the rear with a list of British and Indian regiments commanded by him during the Indian Mutiny. This was the first statue ever to be modelled from a photograph.[25]

Bronze lion at the foot of Nelson's Column in 1915.jpg
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Four lions At the foot of Nelson's Column 1867 Edwin Landseer N/A Statues Grade I Unveiled 31 January 1867. Landseer, an animal painter with no previous experience in sculpture, was assisted by Carlo Marochetti.[26]

Bust of John Jellicoe in Trafalgar Square.jpg
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Bust of John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe Balustrade of Trafalgar Square

51°30′30″N 0°07′40″W / 51.5083°N 0.1278°W / 51.5083; -0.1278 (Bust of John Jellicoe)
1948 Charles Wheeler Edwin Lutyens Bust Grade II* The Jellicoe and Beatty memorials were unveiled on 21 October 1948 (Trafalgar Day) by the Duke of Gloucester. Each memorial consists of a fountain (adapted from those designed by Charles Barry and installed in 1845) with two bronze sculptural groups and, up against the north wall of the square, a bust of the admiral in question.[27]
Fountain at Trafalgar Square, London - geograph.org.uk - 224488.jpg Jellicoe Memorial Fountain Western fountain of Trafalgar Square

51°30′29″N 0°07′42″W / 51.5080°N 0.1284°W / 51.5080; -0.1284 (Jellicoe Memorial Fountain)
1948 Charles Wheeler Edwin Lutyens Fountain with two sculptural groups Grade II* For both memorial fountains Lutyens retained Barry's cusped quatrefoil-shaped basins and added the vase-shaped central fountains. In the Jellicoe fountain, one of the bronze groups comprises a mermaid with two merchildren and dolphins perched on a shell; the other has a triton with a merchild and dolphins on a shell.[27]
Bust of David Beatty in Trafalgar Square.jpg
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Bust of David Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty Balustrade of Trafalgar Square

51°30′30″N 0°07′40″W / 51.5084°N 0.1277°W / 51.5084; -0.1277 (Bust of David Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty)
1948 William McMillan Edwin Lutyens Bust Grade II* During the 2003 refurbishment of the square the busts were moved to the eastern side of the new steps; they previously faced their associated fountains.[27] A square plaque near the centre of the square marks the dedication of the fountains and busts:

THESE FOUNTAINS AND/ THE BUSTS AGAINST THE/ NORTH WALL OF THE/ SQUARE WERE ERECTED/ BY PARLIAMENT TO THE/ MEMORY OF THE ADMIRALS OF/ THE FLEET EARL JELLICOE/ AND EARL BEATTY TO THE/ END THAT THEIR ILLUSTRIOUS/ SERVICES TO THE STATE/ MIGHT NEVER BE FORGOTTEN[28]

Trafalgar Square - geograph.org.uk - 811363.jpg Beatty Memorial Fountain Eastern fountain of Trafalgar Square

51°30′29″N 0°07′40″W / 51.5081°N 0.1277°W / 51.5081; -0.1277 (Beatty Memorial Fountain)
1948 William McMillan Edwin Lutyens Fountain with two sculptural groups Grade II* One bronze sculptural group consists of a mermaid riding on a dolphin and holding smaller dolphins under her arms, with a shoal of small sharks in the rear; the other depicts an equivalent grouping with a triton in place of the mermaid.[27]
Bust of Andrew Cunningham in Trafalgar Square.jpg
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Bust of Andrew Cunningham, 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope Balustrade of Trafalgar Square

51°30′30″N 0°07′41″W / 51.5083°N 0.1280°W / 51.5083; -0.1280 (Bust of Andrew Cunningham, 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope)
1967 Franta Belsky N/A Bust Grade II* Unveiled 2 April 1967 by the Duke of Edinburgh. The bust contains a half-pint bottle of Guinness and a note written by the sculptor.[29]
Architectural Detail - geograph.org.uk - 777000.jpg Endangered Species and portrait heads Grand Buildings, Strand and Northumberland Avenue 1991 c. 1991 Barry Baldwin Sidell Gibson and Associates Reliefs N/A
Trafalgar Square subway.JPG Tile murals Subway under Trafalgar Square 1992 FreeForm Arts Trust N/A Tile murals N/A A scheme depicting scenes from the history of Trafalgar Square.[30][31]

National Gallery

Image Title / subject Location and
coordinates
Date Artist / designer Architect / other Type Designation Notes
Statue of James II, Trafalgar Square 02.JPG
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Statue of James II Lawn in front of the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square

51°30′31″N 0°07′45″W / 51.5085°N 0.1291°W / 51.5085; -0.1291 (Statue of James II)
1686 Workshop of Grinling Gibbons N/A Statue Grade I Commissioned by the royal servant Tobias Rustat for a site outside the Palace of Whitehall. One of three statues of Stuart monarchs commissioned by him, the others being those of Charles II at the Chelsea Royal Hospital and Windsor Castle. It was erected on the present site in 1946.[32]
Europe and Asia National Gallery (main portico) Charles Rossi William Wilkins Reliefs Grade I
Victories and other female figures National Gallery (east and west entrance porticoes) William Wilkins Statues in niches Grade I
Britannia, National Gallery.jpg Minerva (originally Britannia) National Gallery (east façade) John Flaxman; completed by Edward Hodges Baily William Wilkins Architectural sculpture Grade I
Statue of George Washington, Trafalgar Square 02.JPG
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Statue of George Washington Lawn in front of the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square

51°30′31″N 0°07′39″W / 51.5087°N 0.1276°W / 51.5087; -0.1276 (Statue of George Washington)
1921 after Jean-Antoine Houdon N/A Statue Grade II Unveiled 30 June 1921. A bronze cast of Houdon's 1796 marble statue for the Virginia State Capitol. The state of Virginia offered the cast to London in 1914 to mark the centenary of the Treaty of Ghent, and thus of Anglo-American peace.[33]

St Martin-in-the-Fields

Image Title / subject Location and
coordinates
Date Artist / designer Architect / other Type Designation Notes
Royal coat of arms, St Martin-in-the-Fields.jpg Royal Coat of Arms Portico of St Martin-in-the-Fields 1721–1726 c. 1721–1726 Christopher Cass, Senior James Gibbs Pediment relief Grade I [34]
John Law Baker Memorial Drinking Fountain.JPG
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John Law Baker Memorial Drinking Fountain Churchyard of St Martin-in-the-Fields

51°30′31″N 0°07′35″W / 51.5087°N 0.1263°W / 51.5087; -0.1263 (John Law Baker Memorial Fountain)
1886 ? N/A Drinking fountain with sculpture Grade II A truncated fluted column with lion's-head fountains on two sides, their basins now filled in. Inscribed IN MEMORY OF JOHN LAW BAKER/ FORMERLY OF THE MADRAS ARMY/ BORN 1789‍—‌DIED 1886.[35]
Fountain St Martin in the Fields night.jpg William Gilson Humphry Memorial Drinking Fountain Adelaide Street, adjacent to corner with Duncannon Street

51°30′31″N 0°07′34″W / 51.5087°N 0.1260°W / 51.5087; -0.1260 (William Gilson Humphry Memorial Drinking Fountain)
1886 ? N/A Drinking fountain Grade II A basic granite drinking fountain set into the churchyard wall of St Martin's, where Humphry was vicar from 1815 until his death in 1886. Restored with a replica bronze lion mash spout in about 1989, but this is no longer visible on the memorial.[36]
A Conversation with Oscar Wilde.jpg
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A Conversation with Oscar Wilde Adelaide Street, near St Martin-in-the-Fields

51°30′32″N 0°07′33″W / 51.5088°N 0.1259°W / 51.5088; -0.1259 (A Conversation with Oscar Wilde)
1998 Maggi Hambling N/A Memorial with sculpture N/A Unveiled 30 November 1998. A bronze sculpture of Wilde's head and hand (complete with cigarette) emerges from a granite, coffin-shaped plinth. Inscribed with a quotation from Lady Windermere's Fan (1892): We are all/ in the gutter/ but some of us/ are looking at/ the stars.[37]
The Christ Child, St Martin-in-the-Fields.jpg
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Christ Child Portico of St Martin-in-the-Fields

51°30′32″N 0°07′38″W / 51.5088°N 0.1271°W / 51.5088; -0.1271 (Christ Child)
1999 Michael Chapman N/A Sculpture N/A A relief of a newborn baby with the umbilical cord still uncut, seemingly emerging from a block of Portland stone. The inscription running around the sides reads IN THE BEGINNING/ WAS THE WORD‍—‌AND THE/ WORD BECAME FLESH/ AND LIVED AMONG US/ St John 1:1,14.[38]
St Martin in the Fields , top of the lightwell - geograph.org.uk - 1528629.jpg Poem

Natalie Skilbeck

North of St Martin-in-the-Fields

51°30′32″N 0°07′34″W / 51.5090°N 0.1261°W / 51.5090; -0.1261 (Poem)
2008 Tom Perkins (lettering) Eric Parry Inscription around balustrade N/A The balustrade of a light well is inscribed with a poem by Andrew Motion in stainless steel letters, individually cast.[39] Natalie Skilbeck was a traveller on her gap year killed in a road accident in Mauritius in 2004.[40]

South Africa House

Image Title / subject Location and
coordinates
Date Artist / designer Architect / other Type Designation Notes
Bartolomeu Dias, South Africa House (cut).JPG Statue of Bartolomeu Dias South Africa House, Trafalgar Square 1934 Coert Steynberg Herbert Baker Statue in niche Grade II* [41]
Springbok on South Africa House - geograph.org.uk - 1706125.jpg Winged springbok South Africa House, Trafalgar Square 1934 Charles Wheeler Herbert Baker Architectural sculpture Grade II* [42]

See also

References

  1. ^ Ward-Jackson 2011, p. xix.
  2. ^ Mace 2005, p. 23.
  3. ^ Westminster City Council, p. 8.
  4. ^ White 2011, p. 101.
  5. ^ "Charing Cross", Oxford Index, Oxford University Press, retrieved 3 October 2013
  6. ^ Trafalgar Square, Greater London Authority, retrieved 28 February 2015
  7. ^ Bradley & Pevsner 2003, p. 285.
  8. ^ Mace 2005, p. 111.
  9. ^ "Public art in London", Museum of London blog, Museum of London, 14 November 2012, retrieved 7 February 2014
  10. ^ Ward-Jackson 2011, pp. 288–291.
  11. ^ "Drawing", British Museum Collection Database, retrieved 3 April 2012
  12. ^ Historic England. "Queen Eleanor Memorial Cross (1236708)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  13. ^ Webb & Skipwith 2009, pp. 76–77.
  14. ^ Ovenden 2013, p. 249.
  15. ^ a b c d Sculptural Decoration on Norway House by Louis Frederick Roslyn (1878–1934), 9 August 2011, archived from the original on 20 June 2013, retrieved 12 April 2013
  16. ^ Bradley & Pevsner 2003, p. 339.
  17. ^ Ward-Jackson 2011, pp. 245–258.
  18. ^ Ward-Jackson 2011, pp. 293–295.
  19. ^ Ward-Jackson 2011, pp. 278–279.
  20. ^ Ward-Jackson 2011, pp. 280–281.
  21. ^ Ward-Jackson 2011, pp. 281–282.
  22. ^ Ward-Jackson 2011, p. 282.
  23. ^ Ward-Jackson 2011, pp. 283–284.
  24. ^ Blackwood 1989, p. 257.
  25. ^ Blackwood 1989, p. 258.
  26. ^ Ward-Jackson 2011, pp. 284–287.
  27. ^ a b c d Ward-Jackson 2011, pp. 300–303.
  28. ^ "Jellicoe & Beatty", London Remembers, retrieved 17 August 2014
  29. ^ "Bust of Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope by Franta Belsky", Your Archives, The National Archives, archived from the original on 24 February 2013, retrieved 10 October 2011
  30. ^ Pearson, Lynn, "Postwar murals database", Academia.edu, retrieved 17 August 2014
  31. ^ "Tile mural in Trafalgar Square, London", The Joy of Shards, retrieved 17 August 2014
  32. ^ Ward-Jackson 2011, pp. 291–293.
  33. ^ Ward-Jackson 2011, pp. 299–300.
  34. ^ Bradley & Pevsner 2003, p. 292.
  35. ^ "John Law Baker fountain", London Remembers, retrieved 20 April 2013
  36. ^ "St Martin-in-the-Fields Churchyard", London Gardens Online, London Parks & Gardens Trust, retrieved 25 April 2013
  37. ^ Ward-Jackson 2011, pp. 4–5.
  38. ^ Ward-Jackson 2011, pp. 248–249.
  39. ^ St Martin-in-the-Fields Poem, Modus Operandi, retrieved 22 September 2014
  40. ^ Two die in gap year accidents, BBC News, 28 October 2004, retrieved 29 July 2012
  41. ^ Ben Weinreb, ed. (2008). The London Encyclopaedia (Third ed.). pp. 866–876. ISBN 978-1-4050-4924-5.
  42. ^ WHEELER, SIR CHARLES Archived 2011-10-06 at Archive.is Accessed 23 August 2010

Bibliography