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London Photoblog

Horse guards, London

I thought it might be interesting to write a series of blog posts featuring famous sights in London.

For the first, I took a walk to the Horse Guards. It’s an impressive, ornate mid-18th century building that was used as baracks and stables for the Household Cavalry; the two most senior regiments of the British Army. They are charged to guard the Monarchy.

The Horse Guards are still actively used by the military, but there is also a museum for the Household Cavalry that’s open to the public.

The Horse Guards act as a gateway to whitehall, which then leads on to Buckingham Palace.

I think many of us have seen the hourse guards on ceremonnial duty in their striking red uniforms and polished hats. We shouldn’t forget these are real soldiers who are also actively deployed to warzones. I’d advise tourists not to mess with them!

The Horse Guard Parades features a number of statues and ornamental items. One of the most interesting was the Turkish Gun. According to wikipedia the cannon was made in 1524 and was captured by the British in 1801. I love the ornate design. It’s interesting to reflect on the days when even items of war were made with art in mind.

Another interesting feature is the brass monster which has a French mortar mounted on it. This commemerates the lifting of the seige of Cadiz in Spain in 1812.

One of the beautiful things about London is the vast array of things to be seen, many with interesting stories and long histories behind them.

There are two equestrian statues. One of Field Marshals Roberts and one of Field Marshal Wolseley. I was quite taken with the statue of Roberts. He was one of the most successful British military commanders of the Victorian era. The statue is striking, the horse is posed in a very dynamic way.

As a bonus St.James park runs alongside Whitehall starting just opposite the Horse Guards. It’s beautifully maintained park and a great spot to see a variety of wildlife.

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