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Charles I Statue, London

3.5
#1,522 of 3,692 in Things to do in London
The equestrian statue of Charles I at Charing Cross, London, is a work by the French sculptor Hubert Le Sueur, probably cast in 1633.


Its location at Charing Cross is on the former site of the most elaborate of the Eleanor crosses erected by Edward I, which had stood for three and a half centuries until 1647. Charing Cross is used to define the centre of London and a plaque by the statue indicates that road signage distances are measured from this point. The statue faces down Whitehall towards Charles I's place of execution at Banqueting House.
The first Renaissance-style equestrian statue in England, it was commissioned by Charles's Lord High Treasurer Richard Weston for the garden of his country house in Roehampton, Surrey (now in South London). Following the English Civil War the statue was sold to a metalsmith to be broken down, but he hid it until the Restoration. It was installed in its current, far more prominent location in the centre of London in 1675, and the elaborately carved plinth dates from that time.
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4.1
TripAdvisor
  • This bronze equestrian statue made by a French sculptor is somewhat notable due to the lack of a helmet on his head whilst he is in armour.  more »
  • The statue was sculpted in 1633 and the plinth was supposedly carved to designs drawn by Christopher Wren and Grinling Gibbons. After Charles’s execution it was meant to be destroyed but was hidden...  more »
Google
  • It's very ironic to see the statue of Charles I here since he was beheaded 200-yard down the road in 1649 by the Parliamentarians. Anyhow, it's a good memorial as the execution of Charles I was a pivotal point in UK politics.
  • Another iconic statue near to Nelsons column. Charing Cross is often considered the center of London. This is an impressive statue and wonderful history. A very busy area and easy to not appreciate if you are crossing to Trafalger Square.
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