City of Statues: exploring the monuments of Westminster

Churchill’s presence can be felt in Parliament Square thanks to this atmospheric statue. Image property of City of Westminster Archives.

Churchill’s presence can be felt in Parliament Square thanks to this atmospheric statue. Image property of City of Westminster Archives.

Summer’s here, so why not make the most of a sunny day? Take yourself on a sightseeing tour to see all that London has to offer in its own free, open air gallery!
Statues and monuments abound in the streets of this art-loving city and, as they can be enjoyed freely wherever one walks, they are are among our most accessible forms of art. From Boudicca to Winston Churchill a large number of London’s statues stand in the central City of Westminster, paying homage to a varied and dynamic cultural, artistic and political past.

Some statues in Westminster have been rather controversial - the Achilles statue in Hyde Park was accused of exposing too much anatomy! Image property of City of Westminster Archives.

Image property of City of Westminster Archives.

The Archives Centre Book of the Month – The Statues of London, by Claire Bullus and Ronald Asprey – is well worth a look if you wish to find out more about some of the most interesting statues London has to offer.

With outstanding photography by Dennis Gilbert, each of the eighty photographs is accompanied by a detailed commentary. The book offers fascinating insights into the remarkable lives that these statues commemorate, as well as information about the sculptors and their artistic visions.

The Statues of London, by Claire Bullus and Ronald Asprey

Why not undertake some of your own research into Westminster’s statuary by visiting the Archives Centre itself? Alongside excellent books such as this one, you can explore original photographs, prints and press cuttings, as well as archival documents. It’s a great way of discovering not only Westminster’s most iconic monuments, but also those that have been undeservedly overlooked.

[Georgina]

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