Trafalgar Square Fountains
Why include an article on Trafalgar Square fountains on a site for garden fountains? Well as a child I lived in London and during school holidays we would often spend time in central London visiting the famous sites and landmarks, the fountains in Trafalgar square are part of my earliest childhood memories, paddling in the water, sitting on the large bronze lions etc. Water has a fascination for most people, we have tried to bring a little of that magic to your garden with our own range of designs.
Trafalgar Square is an area in central London that commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar (1805), a British naval victory of the Napoleonic Wars. The original name was to have been "King William the Fourth's Square", but George Ledwell Taylor suggested the name "Trafalgar Square".
The area had been the site of the King's Mews since the time of Edward I. In the 1820s the Prince Regent engaged the landscape architect John Nash to redevelop the area. Nash cleared the square as part of his Charing Cross Improvement Scheme. The present architecture of the square is due to Sir Charles Barry and was completed in 1845.
The square consists of a large central area surrounded by roadways on three sides, and stairs leading to the National Gallery on the other. The roads which cross the square form part of the busy A4 road, and prior to 2003, the square was surrounded by a one-way traffic system on all sides. Underpasses attached to Charing Cross tube station still allow pedestrians to avoid traffic. Recent works have reduced the width of the roads and closed the northern side of the square to traffic.
Nelson's Column is in the center of the square, surrounded by fountains and four huge bronze lions sculpted by Sir Edwin Landseer; the metal used is said to have been recycled from the cannon of the French fleet. The column is topped by a statue of Lord Nelson, the admiral who commanded the British Fleet at Trafalgar.
On the north side of the square is the National Gallery and to its east the St Martin's-in-the-Fields church. The square adjoins The Mall via Admiralty Arch to the southwest. To the south is Whitehall, to the east Strand and South Africa House, to the north Charing Cross Road and on the west side is Canada House.
At the corners of the square are four plinths; the two northern ones were intended to be used for equestrian statues, and thus are wider than the two southern. Three of them hold statues: George IV (northeast, 1840s), Henry Havelock (southeast, 1861, by William Behnes), and Sir Charles James Napier (southwest, 1855). Mayor of London Ken Livingstone controversially expressed a desire to see the two generals replaced with statues that "ordinary Londoners would know".
The original plans for the square did not include fountains but government concerns over the large amount of open space in the square which could be filled by public demonstrations led to the inclusion of a simple fountain design to break up the open space and limit the potential space for demonstrators. The two fountains by Sir Charles Barry that were added to the original plan for Trafalgar Square were subsequently replaced and, after the Second World War, presented to Ottawa. These fountains played in Trafalgar Square, London England from 1845 to 1939 when they were removed to make way for larger fountains.
These fountains were brought to the attention of the the National Art Collection Fund of Britain who acquired them for presentation to a Dominion Capital. Canada accepted the gift and one of the fountains serves as a memorial to Lieutenant Colonel John By, founder of Bytown which was later renamed Ottawa. The mate to the Ottawa Fountain is located in Wascana Center on the east side of the Legislative Building in Regina.
The new, larger basins of Portland stone that form the current fountains commemorate two First World naval men, Admiral Beatty and Admiral Jellicoe. They were designed in 1939 by the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, who had blue tiles placed on the base to give light and colour to the water. Seventy-five years earlier, Lutyens' godfather, the artist Sir Edwin Landseer, had been responsible for the four bronze lions that guard Nelson's Column. The fountain on the west side was sculpted by Sir Charles Wheeler, and that nearest the Strand by William MacMillan, whose bust of Admiral Beatty is on the nearby wall