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Our History

Please see a timeline of the development of Trafalgar Square below.

Date
Event
1826
An Act for better paving, cleansing and lighting the Parish of St Martin in the Fields. Plan by John Nash for Square, including Royal Academy and National Gallery. Plan authorised by Act of Parliament.
1832-38
National Gallery is constructed to Wilkins' design.
1837
Wilkins presents plan for Square.
1838
Square enclosed by post and rail fence. First meeting of Nelson Memorial Committee. Competition for Nelson Monument.
1839
Foundations of Nelson Monument laid.
1840
Barry presents plan for Square, commissioned by Office of Woods, Forests and Land Revenue. Plan accepted by Parliamentary Select Committee.
1843
Statue of Nelson by E.H. Baily set on the column. Tender accepted for two red granite fountains. Square asphalted.
1844 Gas main extended to Trafalgar Square from Whitehall. "Trafalgar Square and the works thereto vested in Her Majesty" by Act of Parliament. Bronze statue of George IV by Sir Francis Chantry.
1845 Basins and Fountains Constructed.
1849-52 Bronze bas-reliefs fixed to column base: Battle of Cape St. Vincent by M1 Watson Battle of the Nile by WE Woodington Bombardment of Copenhagen by J Ternouth Death of Nelson by J ECarew.
1855 Bronze Statue of Napier by G G Adams.
1861 Bronze Statue of Havelock by W Behnes.
1868 Landseer's bronze lions set at base of Nelson's column.
1876 Imperial standard of length installed. Single gas lamp set between fountains.
1888 Bronze statue of Gordon by H Thornycroft erected with a gas lamp to either side.
1900 Water supply for fountains from artesian wells fails and is replaced by mains supply.
1926 Square paved.
1943 Gordon statue moved to Embankment Gardens.
1939-48 Original central fountains moved to Ottawa, new central and subsidiary fountains installed with new pumping station below southeast corner of Square. Flower beds built below terrace
1948 Bronze bust of Beatty by W Macmillan. Bronze bust of Jellicoe by C Wheeler. Central fountains by Sir Edwin Lutyens in Portland stone and granite. Two bronze subsidiary fountains by W McMillan in east basin. Two bronze subsidaiary fountains by C Wheeler in west basin.
1960 Drinking fountains installed
 

 

Events at the square