Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square

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Trafalgar Square is a public space and tourist attraction in central London
Central London
Central London is the innermost part of London, England. There is no official or commonly accepted definition of its area, but its characteristics are understood to include a high density built environment, high land values, an elevated daytime population and a concentration of regionally,...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. At its centre is Nelson's Column
Nelson's Column
Nelson's Column is a monument in Trafalgar Square in central London built to commemorate Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The monument was constructed between 1840 and 1843 to a design by William Railton at a cost of £47,000. It is a column of the Corinthian...

, which is guarded by four lion statues at its base. There are a number of statues and sculptures in the square, with one plinth displaying changing pieces of contemporary art. The square is also used for political demonstrations
Demonstration (people)
A demonstration or street protest is action by a mass group or collection of groups of people in favor of a political or other cause; it normally consists of walking in a mass march formation and either beginning with or meeting at a designated endpoint, or rally, to hear speakers.Actions such as...

 and community gatherings, such as the celebration of New Year's Eve.

The name commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar
Battle of Trafalgar
The Battle of Trafalgar was a sea battle fought between the British Royal Navy and the combined fleets of the French Navy and Spanish Navy, during the War of the Third Coalition of the Napoleonic Wars ....

 (1805), a British naval
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 victory of the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 over France. The original name was to have been "King William the Fourth's
William IV of the United Kingdom
William IV was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death...

 Square", but George Ledwell Taylor
George Ledwell Taylor
George Ledwell Taylor was an architect and landowner who lived in London.-Life:George Ledwell Taylor was born on 31 March 1788 and educated at Rawes's academy, Bromley. He became a pupil of the architect James Burton, and on Burton's retirement, of Joseph Parkinson , who was then engaged in laying...

 suggested the name "Trafalgar Square".

In the 1820s, George IV
George IV of the United Kingdom
George IV was the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and also of Hanover from the death of his father, George III, on 29 January 1820 until his own death ten years later...

 engaged the architect John Nash
John Nash (architect)
John Nash was a British architect responsible for much of the layout of Regency London.-Biography:Born in Lambeth, London, the son of a Welsh millwright, Nash trained with the architect Sir Robert Taylor. He established his own practice in 1777, but his career was initially unsuccessful and...

 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
Charles Barry
Sir Charles Barry FRS was an English architect, best known for his role in the rebuilding of the Palace of Westminster in London during the mid-19th century, but also responsible for numerous other buildings and gardens.- Background and training :Born on 23 May 1795 in Bridge Street, Westminster...

 and was completed in 1845.

Trafalgar Square is owned by the Queen in Right of the Crown, and managed by the Greater London Authority
Greater London Authority
The Greater London Authority is the top-tier administrative body for Greater London, England. It consists of a directly elected executive Mayor of London, currently Boris Johnson, and an elected 25-member London Assembly with scrutiny powers...

, while Westminster City Council owns the roads around the square, including the pedestrianised area of the North Terrace.

History



The northern area of the square had been the site of the King's Mews since the time of Edward I
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

, while the southern end was the original Charing Cross
Charing Cross
Charing Cross denotes the junction of Strand, Whitehall and Cockspur Street, just south of Trafalgar Square in central London, England. It is named after the now demolished Eleanor cross that stood there, in what was once the hamlet of Charing. The site of the cross is now occupied by an equestrian...

, where the Strand
Strand, London
Strand is a street in the City of Westminster, London, England. The street is just over three-quarters of a mile long. It currently starts at Trafalgar Square and runs east to join Fleet Street at Temple Bar, which marks the boundary of the City of London at this point, though its historical length...

 from the City
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

 met Whitehall
Whitehall
Whitehall is a road in Westminster, in London, England. It is the main artery running north from Parliament Square, towards Charing Cross at the southern end of Trafalgar Square...

, coming north from Westminster
Westminster
Westminster is an area of central London, within the City of Westminster, England. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames, southwest of the City of London and southwest of Charing Cross...

. As the midpoint between these twin cities, Charing Cross is to this day considered the heart of London, from which all distances are measured.

In 1826 the Commissioners of H.M. Woods, Forests and Land Revenues instructed John Nash to draw up plans for clearing a large area in front of the King's Mews. His plans left open the whole area of what is now Trafalgar Square, except for a block in the centre, which he reserved for a new building for the Royal Academy. The Charing Cross act was passed in 1826 and clearance of the ground started soon after. After the initial clearance things moved slowly. A plan for the laying of the square was approved by the Treasury in 1837, but not put into effect. In April 1840, a new plan, by Charles Barry was accepted, and this time construction started within weeks. The plan dealt with the complex sloping site by levelling the square, and constructing a 15 foot high balustraded terrace with a roadway on the north side in front of the National Gallery. Steps at each end of the terrace led down to the main level of the square, with plinths provided for sculpture and pedestals for lighting. All the stonework was of Aberdeen granite. The estimated budget, excluding paving and sculptures, was £11,000. The next year it was decided that two fountains should be included in the layout.

Nelson’s Column was planned separately from Barry’s work. In 1838 a Nelson Memorial Committee had approached the government, proposing that a monument to the victor of Trafalgar, funded by public subscription, should be erected in the square, and the government had provisionally agreed. A competition was held, the winning design, by the architect William Railton
William Railton
William Railton was an English architect, best known as the designer of Nelson's Column. He was based in London with offices at 12 Regent Street for much of his career.He was a pupil of the London architect and surveyor William Inwood....

, being for a Corinthian column topped by a statue of Nelson, with an overall height of more than 200 feet, guarded by four sculpted lions. The design was approved, with the proviso that the overall height should be reduced to 170 feet, and construction began in 1840. The main construction of the column was completed, and the statue raised, in November 1843.

Barry was unhappy with the prospect of Nelson’s column being placed in the square. In July 1840, when its foundations had already been laid, he told a parliamentary select committee “it would in my opinion be desirable that the area should be wholly free from all insulated objects of art”.

The hoardings were removed and the square opened to the public on 1 May 1844, although the asphalt paving remained incomplete, and the fountains were not yet playing. There was still a hoarding around the base of Nelson’s column, which was to remain for some years, and some of its upper scaffolding remained in place. . The pedestal of the column was not finished until May 1854, when the last of its bronze reliefs was installed. The four lions, although part of the original design, were only added in 1867.
The square has become a social and political focus for visitors and Londoners alike, developing over its history from "an esplanade
Esplanade
An esplanade is a long, open, level area, usually next to a river or large body of water, where people may walk. The original meaning of esplanade was a large, open, level area outside fortress or city walls to provide clear fields of fire for the fortress' guns...

 peopled with figures of national heroes, into the country's foremost place politique", as historian Rodney Mace has written. Its symbolic importance was demonstrated in 1940 when the Nazi
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 SS
Schutzstaffel
The Schutzstaffel |Sig runes]]) was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Built upon the Nazi ideology, the SS under Heinrich Himmler's command was responsible for many of the crimes against humanity during World War II...

 developed secret plans to transfer Nelson's Column to Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 following an expected German invasion, as related by Norman Longmate
Norman Longmate
Norman Longmate is an English author and military historian.He went to Worcester College, Oxford, where he read Modern History.-Bibliography:* How We Lived Then* If Britain Had Fallen...

 in If Britain Had Fallen (1972).

Layout



The square consists of a large central area with roadways on three sides, and a terrace to the north, in front of the National Gallery. The roads around the square form part of the A4 road.The square was formerly surrounded by a one-way traffic system, but works completed in 2003 reduced the width of the roads and closed the northern side to traffic.

Nelson's Column is in the centre of the square, flanked by fountain
Fountain
A fountain is a piece of architecture which pours water into a basin or jets it into the air either to supply drinking water or for decorative or dramatic effect....

s designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens
Edwin Lutyens
Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens, OM, KCIE, PRA, FRIBA was a British architect who is known for imaginatively adapting traditional architectural styles to the requirements of his era...

 in 1937-9 as replacements for two earlier fountains of Peterhead granite ( now in Canada), and guarded by four monumental bronze lions sculpted by Sir Edwin Landseer
Edwin Henry Landseer
Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, RA was an English painter, well known for his paintings of animals—particularly horses, dogs and stags...

. The column is topped by a statue of Horatio Nelson
Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson
Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, KB was a flag officer famous for his service in the Royal Navy, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. He was noted for his inspirational leadership and superb grasp of strategy and unconventional tactics, which resulted in a number of...

, the vice admiral who commanded the British Fleet at Trafalgar
Battle of Trafalgar
The Battle of Trafalgar was a sea battle fought between the British Royal Navy and the combined fleets of the French Navy and Spanish Navy, during the War of the Third Coalition of the Napoleonic Wars ....

.

On the north side of the square is the National Gallery and to its east St Martin-in-the-Fields
St Martin-in-the-Fields
St Martin-in-the-Fields is an Anglican church at the north-east corner of Trafalgar Square in the City of Westminster, London. Its patron is Saint Martin of Tours.-Roman era:Excavations at the site in 2006 led to the discovery of a grave dated about 410...

 church. The square adjoins The Mall entered through Admiralty Arch
Admiralty Arch
Admiralty Arch is a large office building in London which incorporates an archway providing road and pedestrian access between The Mall, which extends to the South-West, and Trafalgar Square to the North-East. It was designed by Sir Aston Webb, constructed by John Mowlem & Co and completed in 1912...

 to the southwest. To the south is Whitehall
Whitehall
Whitehall is a road in Westminster, in London, England. It is the main artery running north from Parliament Square, towards Charing Cross at the southern end of Trafalgar Square...

, to the east Strand
Strand, London
Strand is a street in the City of Westminster, London, England. The street is just over three-quarters of a mile long. It currently starts at Trafalgar Square and runs east to join Fleet Street at Temple Bar, which marks the boundary of the City of London at this point, though its historical length...

 and South Africa House, to the north Charing Cross Road
Charing Cross Road
Charing Cross Road is a street in central London running immediately north of St Martin-in-the-Fields to St Giles Circus and then becomes Tottenham Court Road...

 and on the west side Canada House
Canada House
The High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom in London is the diplomatic mission from Canada to the United Kingdom. It is housed in two buildings in London.-History:...

.

Redevelopment


A major redevelopment of the square to plans by Foster and Partners
Foster and Partners
Foster + Partners is an architectural firm based in London. The practice is led by its founder and Chairman, Norman Foster, and has constructed many high-profile glass-and-steel buildings....

 was completed in 2003.
The work involved closing the main eastbound road along the north side,
diverting the traffic around the other three sides of the square,
demolishing the central section of the northern retaining wall and inserting a wide set of steps leading up to a pedestrianised terrace in front of the National Gallery. The
construction includes two lifts for disabled access, public toilets, and a small café. Previously, access between the square and the Gallery was by two crossings at the northeast and northwest corners of the square.

The plinths



At the corners of the square are four plinth
Plinth
In architecture, a plinth is the base or platform upon which a column, pedestal, statue, monument or structure rests. Gottfried Semper's The Four Elements of Architecture posited that the plinth, the hearth, the roof, and the wall make up all of architectural theory. The plinth usually rests...

s; the two northern ones, intended for equestrian statues, are larger than the southern pair. Three of them have statues: in the northeast corner George IV
George IV of the United Kingdom
George IV was the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and also of Hanover from the death of his father, George III, on 29 January 1820 until his own death ten years later...

 by Sir Francis Chantrey (originally intended for the top of the Marble Arch
Marble Arch
Marble Arch is a white Carrara marble monument that now stands on a large traffic island at the junction of Oxford Street, Park Lane, and Edgware Road, almost directly opposite Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park in London, England...


); in the southeast Major-General Sir Henry Havelock
Henry Havelock
Major-General Sir Henry Havelock, KCB was a British general who is particularly associated with India. He was noted for his recapture of Cawnpore from rebels during Indian Rebellion of 1857.-Early life:...

 by William Behnes
William Behnes
William Behnes was an English sculptor of the early 19th century.Born in London, Behnes was the son of a Hanoverian pianoforte-maker and his English wife. His early life was spent in Dublin where he studied art at the Dublin Academy....

 (1861), and in the southwest General Sir Charles James Napier
Charles James Napier
General Sir Charles James Napier, GCB , was a general of the British Empire and the British Army's Commander-in-Chief in India, notable for conquering the Sindh Province in what is now Pakistan.- His genealogy :...

 by George Cannon Adams (1855). In 2000, the then Mayor of London
Mayor of London
The Mayor of London is an elected politician who, along with the London Assembly of 25 members, is accountable for the strategic government of Greater London. Conservative Boris Johnson has held the position since 4 May 2008...

 Ken Livingstone
Ken Livingstone
Kenneth Robert "Ken" Livingstone is an English politician who is currently a member of the centrist to centre-left Labour Party...

 controversially expressed a desire to see the two generals replaced with statues of people "ordinary Londoners would know".

The Fourth Plinth



The fourth plinth
Fourth plinth, Trafalgar Square
The Fourth Plinth is an empty plinth in Trafalgar Square in central London originally intended to hold an equestrian statue. At the centre of the Square is Nelson's Column, which is guarded by four lion statues at its base...

 in the northwest corner was originally intended for a statue of William IV
William IV of the United Kingdom
William IV was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death...

 but the funds for the statue could not be raised, in part due to the King's unpopularity. Since 1998 the plinth has been used to show a series of specially commissioned artworks. The scheme was initiated by the Royal Society of arts and continued by a Fourth Plinth Commission, appointed by the Mayor of London. A 1:30 scale replica of HMS Victory
HMS Victory
HMS Victory is a 104-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, laid down in 1759 and launched in 1765. She is most famous as Lord Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805....

 in a giant glass bottle
Ship in a Bottle
Ship in a Bottle may refer to:* Ship in a bottle, a type of impossible bottle containing a model ship* "Ship in a Bottle" , a sixth-season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation...

 by Yinka Shonibare was installed on the plinth in May 2010.

Other statues


There are two statues on the lawn in front of the National Gallery: James II
James II of England
James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland...

 by Grinling Gibbons
Grinling Gibbons
Grinling Gibbons was an English sculptor and wood carver known for his work in England, including St Paul's Cathedral, Blenheim Palace and Hampton Court Palace. He was born and educated in Holland where his father was a merchant...

 to the west of the portico, and George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

, a replica of a work by Jean-Antoine Houdon
Jean-Antoine Houdon
Jean-Antoine Houdon was a French neoclassical sculptor. Houdon is famous for his portrait busts and statues of philosophers, inventors and political figures of the Enlightenment...

, to the east. The latter, a gift from the state of Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 installed in 1921, stands on soil imported from the United States, to honour Washington's declaration he would never again set foot on British soil.

There are three busts of admirals against the north wall of the square. Those of Lord Jellicoe by Sir Charles Wheeler and Lord Beatty by William MacMillan were installed in 1948 in conjunction with the square's two fountains, which also commemorate the two men. A bust of the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 First Sea Lord
First Sea Lord
The First Sea Lord is the professional head of the Royal Navy and the whole Naval Service; it was formerly known as First Naval Lord. He also holds the title of Chief of Naval Staff, and is known by the abbreviations 1SL/CNS...

 Admiral Cunningham
Andrew Cunningham, 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope
Admiral of the Fleet Andrew Browne Cunningham, 1st Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope KT, GCB, OM, DSO and two Bars , was a British admiral of the Second World War. Cunningham was widely known by his nickname, "ABC"....

 by Franta Belsky
Franta Belsky
Franta Belsky was a Czech sculptor.He was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia, in 1921, the son of the economist Joseph Belsky. With his family, he fled to England after the German invasion, and volunteered for the Czech Exile Army...

 was unveiled alongside them on 1967.

On the south side of the square is a bronze equestrian statue of Charles I
Statue of King Charles I, London
thumb|right|upright|The Statue of King Charles I on its plinth at Whitehall, LondonThe statue of King Charles I is an equestrian statue of Charles I of England in Whitehall, London. It was cast by the French sculptor Hubert Le Sueur in 1638, before the English Civil War. Following the war it was...

 by Hubert Le Sueur
Hubert Le Sueur
Hubert Le Sueur was a French sculptor with the contemporaneous reputation of having trained in Giambologna's Florentine workshop, who assisted Giambologna's foreman, Pietro Tacca, in Paris, finishing and erecting the equestrian statue of Henri IV on the Pont Neuf...

. It was cast in 1633, and placed in its present position in 1678. It is on the site of the original Charing Cross

A statue of Edward Jenner
Edward Jenner
Edward Anthony Jenner was an English scientist who studied his natural surroundings in Berkeley, Gloucestershire...

, the discoverer of vaccination
Vaccination
Vaccination is the administration of antigenic material to stimulate the immune system of an individual to develop adaptive immunity to a disease. Vaccines can prevent or ameliorate the effects of infection by many pathogens...

 was set up in the south-west corner of the square in 1858, next to that of Charles Napier. Sculpted by William Calder Marshall
William Calder Marshall
William Calder Marshall was a Scottish sculptor. Born in Edinburgh, he attended the Royal High School and Edinburgh University before enrolling at the Royal Academy school in London in 1834, where he won the silver medal...

, it showed Jenner sitting in a chair in a relaxed pose, and was inaugurated at a ceremony presided over by Prince Albert. It was moved to Kensington Gardens in 1862.

A statue of General Charles George Gordon
Charles George Gordon
Major-General Charles George Gordon, CB , known as "Chinese" Gordon, Gordon Pasha, and Gordon of Khartoum, was a British army officer and administrator....

 by Hamo Thornycroft
Hamo Thornycroft
Sir William "Hamo" Thornycroft, RA was a British sculptor, responsible for several London landmarks.-Biography:...

, on an eighteen-foot high pedestal, was erected in 1888, positioned between the two fountains. It was removed in 1943 and re-sited on the Victoria Embankment
Victoria Embankment
The Victoria Embankment is part of the Thames Embankment, a road and river walk along the north bank of the River Thames in London. Victoria Embankment extends from the City of Westminster into the City of London.-Construction:...

 ten years later.

Fountains


When the square was laid out in the 1840s, the fountains' primary purpose was not aesthetic, but rather to reduce the open space available and the risk of riotous assembly. They were originally fed by water pumped from an artesian well by a steam engine sited behind the National Gallery. In the late 1930s it was decided to replace the stone basins and the pump.The new fountains were built to a design by Sir Edwin Lutyens
Edwin Lutyens
Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens, OM, KCIE, PRA, FRIBA was a British architect who is known for imaginatively adapting traditional architectural styles to the requirements of his era...

 at a cost of almost £50,000 The old fountains were bought for presentation to the Canadian government, and are now in Ottawa
Ottawa
Ottawa is the capital of Canada, the second largest city in the Province of Ontario, and the fourth largest city in the country. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario...

 and Regina
Regina, Saskatchewan
Regina is the capital city of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. The city is the second-largest in the province and a cultural and commercial centre for southern Saskatchewan. It is governed by Regina City Council. Regina is the cathedral city of the Roman Catholic and Romanian Orthodox...

. The present fountains are memorials to Lord Jellicoe
John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe
Admiral of the Fleet John Rushworth Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe, GCB, OM, GCVO was a British Royal Navy admiral who commanded the Grand Fleet at the Battle of Jutland in World War I...

 (western side) and Lord Beatty
David Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty
Admiral of the Fleet David Richard Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty, GCB, OM, GCVO, DSO was an admiral in the Royal Navy...

 (eastern side)

Further restoration work became necessary and was completed by . The pump system was replaced with a new pump is capable of sending an 80 feet (24.4 m) jet of water into the air. A new LED
Light-emitting diode
A light-emitting diode is a semiconductor light source. LEDs are used as indicator lamps in many devices and are increasingly used for other lighting...

 lighting system was also installed during this restoration to reduce the cost of lighting maintenance. The new lighting has been designed with the London 2012 Summer Olympics
2012 Summer Olympics
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the "London 2012 Olympic Games", are scheduled to take place in London, England, United Kingdom from 27 July to 12 August 2012...

 in mind and for the first time will project many different combinations of colours on to the fountains. The new lighting system has a much lower energy requirement and will reduce its carbon footprint
Carbon footprint
A carbon footprint has historically been defined as "the total set of greenhouse gas emissions caused by an organization, event, product or person.". However, calculating a carbon footprint which conforms to this definition is often impracticable due to the large amount of data required, which is...

 by around 90%.

Pigeons



The square was once famous for its feral pigeons
Feral Pigeon
Feral pigeons , also called city doves, flying rats, city pigeons or street pigeons, are derived from domestic pigeons that have returned to the wild. The domestic pigeon was originally bred from the wild Rock Pigeon, which naturally inhabits sea-cliffs and mountains. All three types readily...

, and feeding them was a popular activity. The desirability of the birds' presence was contentious: their droppings disfigured stonework, and the flock, estimated at its peak to be 35,000, was considered a health hazard. In 2005, the sale of bird seed in the square was stopped and other measures introduced to discourage the pigeons, including the use of trained birds of prey
Falconry
Falconry is "the taking of wild quarry in its natural state and habitat by means of a trained raptor". There are two traditional terms used to describe a person involved in falconry: a falconer flies a falcon; an austringer flies a hawk or an eagle...

. Groups of supporters continued to feed the birds, but in 2003 the then-Mayor
Mayor of London
The Mayor of London is an elected politician who, along with the London Assembly of 25 members, is accountable for the strategic government of Greater London. Conservative Boris Johnson has held the position since 4 May 2008...

, Ken Livingstone
Ken Livingstone
Kenneth Robert "Ken" Livingstone is an English politician who is currently a member of the centrist to centre-left Labour Party...

, enacted bylaw
Bylaw
By-law can refer to a law of local or limited application passed under the authority of a higher law specifying what things may be regulated by the by-law...

s to ban the feeding of pigeons in the square. In September 2007 Westminster City Council
Westminster City Council
Westminster City Council is the local authority for the City of Westminster in Greater London, England. It is a London borough council and is entitled to be known as a city council, which is a rare distinction in the United Kingdom. The city is divided into 20 wards, each electing three councillors...

 passed further bylaws banning the feeding of birds on the square's pedestrianised North Terrace and other pavements in the area There are now few birds in Trafalgar Square and it is used for festivals and hired out to film companies in a way that was not feasible in the 1990s.

New Year events



For many years, revellers celebrating the start of a New Year
New Year
The New Year is the day that marks the time of the beginning of a new calendar year, and is the day on which the year count of the specific calendar used is incremented. For many cultures, the event is celebrated in some manner....

 have gathered in the square, despite a lack of civic celebrations being arranged. The lack of official events in the square was partly because the authorities were concerned that actively encouraging more partygoers would cause overcrowding. Since 2005, a firework display centred on London Eye
London Eye
The London Eye is a tall giant Ferris wheel situated on the banks of the River Thames, in London, England.It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over 3.5 million people annually...

 and the South Bank
South Bank
South Bank is an area of London, England located immediately adjacent to the south side of the River Thames. It forms a long and narrow section of riverside development that is within the London Borough of Lambeth to the border with the London Borough of Southwark and was formerly simply known as...

 of the Thames has been provided as an alternative

VE Day celebrations


Victory in Europe Day
Victory in Europe Day
Victory in Europe Day commemorates 8 May 1945 , the date when the World War II Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. The formal surrender of the occupying German forces in the Channel Islands was not...

 (VE Day) was 1945, the date when the Allies
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 during the Second World War celebrated the defeat of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

. Trafalgar Square was filled with a crowd wanting to hear the formal announcement by Sir Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 that the war was over. The square was also used as a place of celebration by people travelling there from all over the country. On 2005 the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 held a concert to celebrate the 60th anniversary of VE Day.

Christmas ceremony



There has been a Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 ceremony at Trafalgar Square every year since 1947. A Norway Spruce
Norway Spruce
Norway Spruce is a species of spruce native to Europe. It is also commonly referred to as the European Spruce.- Description :...

 (or sometimes a fir
Fir
Firs are a genus of 48–55 species of evergreen conifers in the family Pinaceae. They are found through much of North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, occurring in mountains over most of the range...

) is given by Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

's capital Oslo
Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

 and presented as London's Christmas tree
Christmas tree
The Christmas tree is a decorated evergreen coniferous tree, real or artificial, and a tradition associated with the celebration of Christmas. The tradition of decorating an evergreen tree at Christmas started in Livonia and Germany in the 16th century...

, as a token of gratitude for Britain's support during World War II. (Besides the general war support, Norway's Prince Olav
Olav V of Norway
Olav V was the king of Norway from 1957 until his death. A member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, Olav was born in the United Kingdom as the son of King Haakon VII of Norway and Queen Maud of Norway...

, as well as the country's government, lived in exile in London throughout the war.) As part of the tradition, the Lord Mayor
Lord Mayor
The Lord Mayor is the title of the Mayor of a major city, with special recognition.-Commonwealth of Nations:* In Australia it is a political position. Australian cities with Lord Mayors: Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Newcastle, Parramatta, Perth, Sydney, and Wollongong...

 of Westminster
City of Westminster
The City of Westminster is a London borough occupying much of the central area of London, England, including most of the West End. It is located to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary...

 visits Oslo in the late autumn to take part in the felling of the tree, and the Mayor of Oslo then comes to London to light the tree at the Christmas ceremony.

Political demonstrations




Since its construction, Trafalgar Square has been a venue for political demonstrations, though the authorities have often attempted to ban them. The 1839 fountains were added on their current scale to reduce the possibility of crowds gathering in the square as they were not in the original plans.

By March of the year Nelson's column opened, the authorities had started banning Chartist
Chartism
Chartism was a movement for political and social reform in the United Kingdom during the mid-19th century, between 1838 and 1859. It takes its name from the People's Charter of 1838. Chartism was possibly the first mass working class labour movement in the world...

 meetings in the square. A general ban on political rallies remained in effect until the 1880s, when the emerging Labour movement
Labour movement
The term labour movement or labor movement is a broad term for the development of a collective organization of working people, to campaign in their own interest for better treatment from their employers and governments, in particular through the implementation of specific laws governing labour...

, particularly the Social Democratic Federation
Social Democratic Federation
The Social Democratic Federation was established as Britain's first organised socialist political party by H. M. Hyndman, and had its first meeting on June 7, 1881. Those joining the SDF included William Morris, George Lansbury and Eleanor Marx. However, Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx's long-term...

, began holding protests there.

On "Black Monday
Black Monday
Black Monday is a term used to refer to certain events which occur on a Monday. It has been used in the following cases:* Black Monday, Dublin, 1209 – when a group of 500 recently arrived settlers from Bristol were massacred by warriors of the Gaelic O'Byrne clan...

" ( 1886), protesters rallied against unemployment; this led to a riot in Pall Mall
Pall Mall, London
Pall Mall is a street in the City of Westminster, London, and parallel to The Mall, from St. James's Street across Waterloo Place to the Haymarket; while Pall Mall East continues into Trafalgar Square. The street is a major thoroughfare in the St James's area of London, and a section of the...

. A larger riot (called "Bloody Sunday
Bloody Sunday (1887)
Bloody Sunday, London, 13 November 1887, was the name given to a demonstration against coercion in Ireland and to demand the release from prison of MP William O'Brien, who was imprisoned for incitement as a result of an incident in the Irish Land War. The demonstration was organized by the Social...

") occurred in the square on 1887.

One of the first significant demonstrations of the modern era was held in the square on 1961 by the Committee of 100, which included the philosopher Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had never been any of these things...

. The protesters rallied for peace and against war and nuclear weapons.

Throughout the 1980s, a continuous anti-apartheid protest was held outside South Africa House. More recently, the square has hosted the Poll Tax Riots
Poll Tax Riots
The UK Poll Tax Riots were a series of mass disturbances, or riots, in British towns and cities during protests against the Community Charge , introduced by the Conservative government led by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher...

 (1990) and anti-war demonstrations opposing the Afghanistan war
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

 and the Iraq war.

The square was also scene to a large vigil held shortly after the terrorist bombings in London
7 July 2005 London bombings
The 7 July 2005 London bombings were a series of co-ordinated suicide attacks in the United Kingdom, targeting civilians using London's public transport system during the morning rush hour....

 on Thursday, 2005.

In December 2009, participants from the Camp for Climate Action occupied the square for the two weeks in which the UN Conference on Climate Change took place in Copenhagen. It was billed as a UK base for direct action on climate change during the conference, and saw various actions and protests stem from the occupation.

On March 27, 2011. The square was occupied by protesters using the square to protest against the UK Budget and its proposed budget cuts. During the night however, the situation turned violent as the escalation by riot police and protesters damaged portions of the square.

Sports events


On 26 June 1996, after England's
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

 defeat to Germany in the Euro 96 semi-finals, a large scale riot took place in Trafalgar Square, with a number of injuries.

On 21 June 2002, 12,000 people gathered in the square to watch the England national football team
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in association football and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first...

's World Cup quarter-final against Brazil
Brazil national football team
The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's football and is controlled by the Brazilian Football Confederation , the governing body for football in Brazil. They are a member of the International Federation of Association Football since 1923 and also a member of the...

 on giant video screens which had been erected specially for the occasion.

In the early 21st century, Trafalgar Square has become the location to the climax for sporting victory parade
Victory parade
A victory parade is a type of parade held in order to celebrate a victory. Because of that, victory parades can be divided into military victory parades and more frequent sport victory parades....

s. It was used by the England national rugby union team
England national rugby union team
The England national rugby union team represents England in rugby union. They compete in the annual Six Nations Championship with France, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, and Wales. They have won this championship on 26 occasions, 12 times winning the Grand Slam, making them the most successful team in...

 on 2003 to celebrate their victory in the 2003 Rugby World Cup
2003 Rugby World Cup
The 2003 Rugby World Cup was the fifth Rugby World Cup and was won by England. Originally planned to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, all games were shifted to Australia following a contractual dispute over ground signage rights between the New Zealand Rugby Football Union and Rugby World...

, and then on 2005 for the England national cricket team's victory in The Ashes
The Ashes
The Ashes is a Test cricket series played between England and Australia. It is one of the most celebrated rivalries in international cricket and dates back to 1882. It is currently played biennially, alternately in the United Kingdom and Australia. Cricket being a summer sport, and the venues...

.

On 6 July 2005 Trafalgar Square was a gathering place for the announcement on London's bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics
2012 Summer Olympics
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the "London 2012 Olympic Games", are scheduled to take place in London, England, United Kingdom from 27 July to 12 August 2012...

, Located also on Trafalgar Square is its Official Countdown Clock unveiled last March 14, 2011.

In 2007, it hosted the opening ceremonies of the Tour de France
Tour de France
The Tour de France is an annual bicycle race held in France and nearby countries. First staged in 1903, the race covers more than and lasts three weeks. As the best known and most prestigious of cycling's three "Grand Tours", the Tour de France attracts riders and teams from around the world. The...

.

Other uses


As an archetypal London location, Trafalgar Square featured prominently in film and television productions during the Swinging London
Swinging London
Swinging London is a catch-all term applied to the fashion and cultural scene that flourished in London, in the 1960s.It was a youth-oriented phenomenon that emphasised the new and modern. It was a period of optimism and hedonism, and a cultural revolution. One catalyst was the recovery of the...

 era of the late 1960s, including The Avengers
The Avengers (TV series)
The Avengers is a spy-fi British television series set in the 1960s Britain. The Avengers initially focused on Dr. David Keel and his assistant John Steed . Hendry left after the first series and Steed became the main character, partnered with a succession of assistants...

, Casino Royale
Casino Royale (1967 film)
Casino Royale is a 1967 comedy spy film originally produced by Columbia Pictures starring an ensemble cast of directors and actors. It is set as a satire of the James Bond film series and the spy genre, and is loosely based on Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel.The film stars David Niven as the...

, Doctor Who
Doctor Who
Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a time-travelling humanoid alien known as the Doctor who explores the universe in a sentient time machine called the TARDIS that flies through time and space, whose exterior...

, The Ipcress File
The Ipcress File
The IPCRESS File was the first spy novel by Len Deighton, published in 1962.It was made into a film in 1965 produced by Harry Saltzman and directed by Sidney J. Furie, starring Michael Caine as the protagonist....

and Man in a Suitcase
Man in a Suitcase
Man in a Suitcase is a 1967 television series produced by Lew Grade's ITC Entertainment.-Origins and overview:Man in a Suitcase was effectively a replacement for Danger Man, whose production had been curtailed when its star Patrick McGoohan had decided to create his own series, The Prisoner...

. It was also used as a filming location for several sketches and a cartoon backdrop in the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 comedy series Monty Python's Flying Circus
Monty Python's Flying Circus
Monty Python’s Flying Circus is a BBC TV sketch comedy series. The shows were composed of surreality, risqué or innuendo-laden humour, sight gags and observational sketches without punchlines...

.
In May 2007, the square was grassed over with 2,000 square metres of turf for two days as part of a campaign by London authorities to promote "green spaces" in the city.

Every year on the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar , the Sea Cadet Corps
Sea Cadet Corps (United Kingdom)
The Sea Cadet Corps is a UK national youth organisation sponsored by the Royal Navy and open to young people between the ages of 10-18 years old. The SCC is the UK's largest Naval Cadet Force with over 30,000 cadets and adult volunteers...

 holds a parade in honour of Admiral Lord Nelson and the British victory over the combined fleets of Spain and France at Trafalgar. The Areas of the Sea Cadet Corps are represented by seven 24-cadet platoons. The National Sea Cadet Band also parades, as does a Guard and Colour Party.

On July 7, 2011, due to building works in Leicester Square
Leicester Square
Leicester Square is a pedestrianised square in the West End of London, England. The Square lies within an area bound by Lisle Street, to the north; Charing Cross Road, to the east; Orange Street, to the south; and Whitcomb Street, to the west...

, the world premiere of the final film in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, was held in Trafalgar Square, with a 0.75 mile red-carpet linking the two squares. Fans camped in Trafalgar Square for up to three days before the premiere. It was the first premiere ever to be held in Trafalgar Square.

Access


Nearest London Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

 stations:
  • Charing Cross
    Charing Cross tube station
    Charing Cross tube station is a London Underground station at Charing Cross in the City of Westminster with entrances located in Trafalgar Square and The Strand. The station is served by the Northern and Bakerloo lines and provides an interchange with the National Rail network at station...

     – Northern
    Northern Line
    The Northern line is a London Underground line. It is coloured black on the Tube map.For most of its length it is a deep-level tube line. The line carries 206,734,000 passengers per year. This is the highest number of any line on the London Underground system, but the Northern line is unique in...

     and Bakerloo
    Bakerloo Line
    The Bakerloo line is a line of the London Underground, coloured brown on the Tube map. It runs partly on the surface and partly at deep level, from Elephant and Castle in the south-east to Harrow & Wealdstone in the north-west of London. The line serves 25 stations, of which 15 are underground...

     Lines—has an exit in the square. The two lines originally had separate stations, of which the Bakerloo Line one was called Trafalgar Square; they were linked and renamed in 1979 as part of the construction of the Jubilee Line
    Jubilee Line
    The Jubilee line is a line on the London Underground , in the United Kingdom. It was built in two major sections—initially to Charing Cross, in central London, and later extended, in 1999, to Stratford, in east London. The later stations are larger and have special safety features, both aspects...

    , which was later rerouted to Westminster tube station
    Westminster tube station
    Westminster is a London Underground station in the City of Westminster. It is served by the Circle, District and Jubilee lines. On the Circle and District lines, the station is between St. James's Park and Embankment and, on the Jubilee line it is between Green Park and Waterloo. It is in...

     in late 1999.
  • Embankment
    Embankment tube station
    Embankment is a London Underground station in the City of Westminster, known by various names during its history. It is served by the Circle, District, Northern and Bakerloo lines. On the Northern and Bakerloo lines, the station is between Waterloo and Charing Cross stations; on the Circle and...

     – District
    District Line
    The District line is a line of the London Underground, coloured green on the Tube map. It is a "sub-surface" line, running through the central area in shallow cut-and-cover tunnels. It is the busiest of the sub-surface lines. Out of the 60 stations served, 25 are underground...

    , Circle, Northern and Bakerloo Lines.
  • Leicester Square
    Leicester Square tube station
    Leicester Square is a station on the London Underground, located on Charing Cross Road, a short distance to the east of Leicester Square itself....

     – Northern and Piccadilly
    Piccadilly Line
    The Piccadilly line is a line of the London Underground, coloured dark blue on the Tube map. It is the fifth busiest line on the Underground network judged by the number of passengers transported per year. It is mainly a deep-level line, running from the north to the west of London via Zone 1, with...

     lines


Bus routes running through Trafalgar Square:
  • 6
    London Buses route 6
    London Buses route 6 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, United Kingdom. The service is currently contracted to Metroline.-History:...

    , 9
    London Buses route 9
    London Buses route 9 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England, United Kingdom. The regular service on route 9 is currently contracted to London United...

    , 11
    London Buses route 11
    London Buses route 11 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England, United Kingdom. The service is currently contracted to Go-Ahead London.-History:...

    , 12
    London Buses route 12
    London Buses route 12 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England, United Kingdom. The service is currently contracted to Go-Ahead London.-History:...

    , 13
    London Buses route 13
    London Buses route 13 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. The service is currently contracted to London Sovereign.-History:...

    , 15
    London Buses route 15
    London Buses route 15 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England, United Kingdom. The regular service on route 15 is currently contracted to Stagecoach London and operated with modern double-decker buses...

    , 23
    London Buses route 23
    London Buses route 23 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, United Kingdom. The service is currently contracted to First Centrewest....

    , 24
    London Buses route 24
    London Buses route 24 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, United Kingdom. The service is currently contracted to Go-Ahead London.-History:This route dates back to 1910, when it ran between Hampstead Heath and Victoria...

    , 29
    London Buses route 29
    London Buses route 29 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, United Kingdom. The service is currently contracted to Arriva London.-History:...

    , 53
    London Buses route 53
    London Buses route 53 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, United Kingdom. The service is currently contracted to Stagecoach London.-History:...

    , 87
    London Buses route 87
    London Buses route 87 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, United Kingdom. The service is currently contracted to Go-Ahead London.-History:...

    , 88
    London Buses route 88
    London Buses route 88 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, United Kingdom. The service is currently contracted to Go-Ahead London.-History:...

    , 91, 139
    London Buses route 139
    London Buses route 139 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, United Kingdom. The service is currently contracted to Metroline for London Buses.-History:...

    , 159
    London Buses route 159
    London Buses route 159 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, United Kingdom. The service is currently contracted to Arriva London.-History:...

    , 176
    London Buses route 176
    London Buses route 176 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, United Kingdom. The service is currently contracted to Arriva London.-History:...

    , 453
    London Buses route 453
    London Buses route 453 is a Transport for London contracted bus route in London, England. The service is currently contracted to Go-Ahead London.-History:...

    .

Other Trafalgar Squares


National Heroes Square in Bridgetown
Bridgetown
The city of Bridgetown , metropolitan pop 96,578 , is the capital and largest city of the nation of Barbados. Formerly, the Town of Saint Michael, the Greater Bridgetown area is located within the parish of Saint Michael...

, Barbados
Barbados
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is in length and as much as in width, amounting to . It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about east of the islands of Saint...

, was originally named Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square, Barbados
National Heroes Square is located in the capital and principal commercial centre Bridgetown, on the island-nation of Barbados...

 in 1813, before its better known British namesake; it too had a statue of Admiral Horatio Nelson. The name was changed on 1999.

There is also a Trafalgar Square in Barre, Massachusetts. The suburb of Waterloo in the city of Lower Hutt
Lower Hutt
Lower Hutt is a city in the Wellington region of New Zealand. Its council has adopted the name Hutt City Council, but neither the New Zealand Geographic Board nor the Local Government Act recognise the name Hutt City. This alternative name can lead to confusion, as there are two cities in the...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, features a Trafalgar Square opposite the Waterloo Interchange Railway Station
Waterloo Interchange (Hutt Central) Railway Station
Waterloo Interchange railway station is a two-platform urban railway station in Waterloo, a suburb of the city of Lower Hutt in the Wellington region of New Zealand’s North Island. It is on the Wairarapa Line , between Pohutukawa Street and Cambridge Terrace...

, a major metropolitan hub.

Books

Second edition published as

General


Fourth plinth