Trafalgar Square marks the western entrance to the Strand. Trafalgar Square was begun in 1840, to provide a more dignified frontage to the new National Gallery as well as a memorial to Nelson’s naval victory at Trafalgar and a reminder of the might of the burgeoning British Empire. After much arguing, Nelson’s column was finally erected in November 1843. The bas-reliefs around the bottom of the column, depicting Nelson’s most famous battles, were only finished in 1854, and the famous lions were finally put in place in 1867. However, from the end of 1843, Trafalgar Square was in a form that would be recognisable to us now.
Today, it’s one of my favourite places to sit and have a coffee or eat lunch. From the top of the steps which lead out of the square up to the national Gallery, you can see down to Westminster, or east to the start of the Strand, or west towards Mayfair and Piccadilly. It’s like sitting on the beating heart of London.
Acknowledgments: Thomas Bredøl