List of public art formerly in London

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This page lists public artworks which used to exist in London, but which have either been destroyed or removed to another place. Works which have been moved within London are not included, nor are temporary installations such as those on the Fourth plinth at Trafalgar Square. However, where one statue has been removed and replaced by another similar one, the former is included in this list.

Works removed or lost[edit]

Image Title / individual commemorated Type Former location Date Artist Architect / Masons Notes
Old Charing Cross.jpg The Charing Cross

Eleanor of Castile

Commemorative cross Charing Cross 1291–
c. 1294
Alexander Abingdon Richard of Crundale and Roger of Crundale The costliest and most elaborate of the Eleanor crosses marking the sites where the Queen’s funeral cortège rested on the way to her burial at Westminster Abbey. The master mason Richard of Crundale died in 1293, after which the work was taken up by his brother Roger. The cross was destroyed under the orders of Parliament in 1647.[1]
Statue of George I and Hogarth's House, 1790 (detail).jpg George I Equestrian statue Leicester Square 1722c. 1722 Nost the Elder, JohnJohn Nost the Elder
A gilded lead replica of Nost's bronze equestrian statue, erected in Dublin in 1722 and now outside the Barber Institute, Birmingham. The horse was cast from Hubert Le Sueur's Charles I at Charing Cross (q.v.). Purchased at the Cannons sale of 1747 and installed in the Square the following year. From the 1780s the statue was neglected and frequently vandalised; by the late nineteenth century only the horse remained, which was sold for £16.[2]
George I Equestrian statue Grosvenor Square 1722c. 1722 Nost the Elder, JohnJohn Nost the Elder
Also of lead, this was probably from the same model as the Leicester Square statue. Bought from Nost's workshop by Sir Richard Grosvenor in 1725.[3]
Prince William, Duke of Cumberland Equestrian statue Cavendish Square 1770 Sir Henry Cheere, 1st Baronet
Cheere produced a bronzed lead statuette of the Duke of Cumberland (now in the National Army Museum) in around 1745. In 1770 a full-scale statue differing slightly from this model was erected in Cavendish Square; it was removed in 1868 and melted down.[4] In the summer of 2012 a replica made of soap by the Korean artist Meekyoung Shin was installed on the plinth (still in situ) and allowed to erode over the course of a year.[5] The display was later extended by a further six months to the end of 2013 and other versions were installed in the grounds of the South Korean National Museum of Contemporary Art[6] and at MoCA Taipei.[7]
Wellington Monument, Aldershot - - 1743310.jpg Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington Equestrian statue Wellington Arch, Hyde Park Corner 1840–6 Matthew Cotes Wyatt Decimus Burton Wyatt’s statue was installed on the Wellington Arch on 30 September 1846. It was regarded as a failure on aesthetic grounds and its gigantic size—​30 ft high and 26 ft wide—​was felt to be excessive for the commemoration of a single individual. It was removed to the military town of Aldershot, Hampshire, when the arch’s orientation was changed in 1883.[8]
Sir James McGrigor Statue Atterbury Street, Millbank (1909–2003) 1865 Matthew Noble
Unveiled 18 November 1865 at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea. Moved in 1909 to the newly built Royal Army Medical College, which became the Chelsea College of Arts in 2003. The statue was then relocated to the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.[9]
Hogarth bust (Leicester Square).jpg William Hogarth Bust Leicester Square 1874 Durham, JosephJoseph Durham Knowles, JamesJames Knowles One of four busts of historical residents of the area, installed as part of Knowles’s redesign of the gardens, which were removed in 2010–12. This bust originally stood in the south-eastern corner of the square, near where Hogarth had a house from 1733 until his death in 1764,[10] but moved to the north-east in the 1989–92 refurbishment of the square.[11]
John Hunter 2206660627.jpg John Hunter Bust Leicester Square 1874 Woolner, ThomasThomas Woolner Knowles, JamesJames Knowles Hunter lived at 28 Leicester Square from 1783 to 1793.[12] Baron Grant originally commissioned Woolner to sculpt a bust of Samuel Johnson, who frequented Reynolds’s house on the square (q.v.), but was persuaded by the Royal College of Surgeons to honour Hunter instead. The bust originally stood in the north-eastern corner of the square but changed places with the bust of Hogarth in the south-east when the square was refurbished in 1989–92.[11]
Bust of Newton - Leicester Square Gardens, London.jpg Sir Isaac Newton Bust Leicester Square 1874 Marshall, William CalderWilliam Calder Marshall Knowles, JamesJames Knowles Newton lived nearby, on 35 St Martin’s Street, from 1710 to 1725.[13] The bust was formerly in the south-western corner of the gardens.[14]
Bust of Reynolds - Leicester Square Gardens, London.jpg Sir Joshua Reynolds Bust Leicester Square 1874 Weekes, HenryHenry Weekes Knowles, JamesJames Knowles Formerly stood in the north-western corner of the gardens, a site close to 47 Leicester Square,[15] where Reynolds lived from 1760 until his death in 1792.[16]
Poets’ Fountain
Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare and John Milton
Fountain with sculptures Hamilton Place 1875 Thornycroft, ThomasThomas Thornycroft
Inaugurated 9 July 1875. A multi-figure composition including figures of the Muses and statues of the three poets crowned with a personification of Fame; all but the last of these have been lost since the fountain was dismantled in 1948, having sustained bomb damage in World War II.[17]
Statue of Lord Strathnairn near Liphook - - 923057.jpg Strathnairn, Hugh Rose, 1st BaronHugh Rose, 1st Baron Strathnairn Equestrian statue Intersection of Knightsbridge and Brompton Road 1895 Ford, Edward OnslowEdward Onslow Ford
Unveiled 19 June 1895 by the Duke of Grafton. Cast from guns taken during the Indian Mutiny, of which Strathnairn was one of the main suppressors. Taken down in 1931 during work on a new subway for Knightsbridge tube station and kept in storage until it was sold by Westminster Council in 1964, it now stands in Liphook, Hampshire.[18]
Stag Statue in Stag Place - - 1152206.jpg Stag Sculpture Stag Place, now Cardinal Place, Victoria 1963 Copnall, Edward BainbridgeEdward Bainbridge Copnall Howard, Fairbairn & Partners A late addition to the complex, the sculpture was intended to recall the Stag Brewery which had stood on the site. Removed in 1997 to the Kent Millennium River Walk, Maidstone.[19]
Year of the Child Drinking Fountain Drinking fountain with sculpture Hyde Park 1981
Crosby, TheoTheo Crosby A memorial to the Great Children’s Party held in the park in 1979,[20] removed for restoration in 2005 due to its poor condition.[21]
Techtonic II Sculpture Opposite the entrance to Tower Three, London School of Economics 1984 Davies, Haydn LlewellynHaydn Llewellyn Davies
Part of Louis Odette’s 2005 bequest of sculptures to the LSE.[22] As of 2013 the sculpture is no longer at this location.
One nation under CCTV 1.jpg One Nation Under CCTV
Category:One Nation Under CCTV (Banksy) on Wikimedia Commons
Mural Newman Street, Fitzrovia 2008 Banksy
To produce this work Banksy erected and dismantled three storeys of scaffolding without being observed, despite the site being behind a tall fence and in full view of a CCTV camera.[23] Westminster City Council destroyed the work as an example to graffiti artists.[24]

Works replaced by replicas[edit]

  • The statue of Queen Anne by Francis Bird which stood outside St. Paul's Cathedral was damaged by a lunatic in the 19th century, and as it was in any case in rather poor condition, it was removed, together with the four statues at its base, and replaced by a copy, partly the work of Richard Belt. The original was moved to a location near St Leonards in Sussex.
  • The Victoria Palace Theatre had a figure on its roof of a dancer (possibly representing Anna Pavlova, by some accounts). It was taken down to protect it from the bombing during World War II, and apparently was mislaid as a result. A replica of the original was installed in 2006.

Works removed and subsequently returned[edit]

  • The statue of Charles II in Soho Square was removed for many years to Grim's Dyke, the estate of W. S. Gilbert, and returned to its current position after the death of Gilbert's widow, who had willed it back to the square. It was originally accompanied by four other statues representing British rivers, and the current whereabouts of these is unknown; they have probably been destroyed or buried.


  1. ^ Gater, G. H.; Wheeler, E. P., eds. (1935). "The statue of Charles I and site of the Charing Cross". Survey of London: volume 16: St Martin-in-the-Fields I: Charing Cross. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Ward-Jackson 2011, p. 112
  3. ^ Ward-Jackson 2011, p. xx
  4. ^ National Art Collections Fund (1992). "Annual Report". pp. 97–8. 
  5. ^ White, Niamh (24 July 2012). "‘Written in Soap: A Plinth Project’ Meekyoung Shin’s newest work is unveiled". SHOWstudio. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  6. ^ Gowman, Philip (21 July 2013). "Meekyoung Shin shortlisted for Korea Artist Prize 2013". London Korean Links. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  7. ^ "About". Written in Soap: A Plinth Project. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  8. ^ Ward-Jackson 2011, pp. xxv–xxix, 90
  9. ^ Ward-Jackson 2011, pp. 6–7
  10. ^ Thornbury, Walter (1878). "Leicester Square". Old and New London: Volume 3. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Ward-Jackson 2011, p. 117
  12. ^ "Leicester Square". The Georgian Index. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  13. ^ McNab, Andrew. "35 St Martin′s Street". Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  14. ^ Ward-Jackson 2011, p. 117
  15. ^ Ward-Jackson 2011, p. 115
  16. ^ Sheppard, F. H. W., ed. (1966). "Leicester Square, West Side: Leicester Estate: Nos 43–54 Leicester Square". Survey of London: volumes 33 and 34: St Anne Soho. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  17. ^ Ward-Jackson 2011, pp. xxxii–xxxiii
  18. ^ Greenacombe, John, ed. (2000). "Knightsbridge Green Area: Scotch Corner and the High Road". Survey of London: volume 45: Knightsbridge. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  19. ^ Ward-Jackson 2011, pp. 15–6
  20. ^ Land Use Consultants (2005), Hyde Park Management Plan, The Royal Parks, p. 48, retrieved 6 July 2014 
  21. ^ Moore, Matthew (15 June 2010). "St James’ Park to receive ‘stunning’ new 20ft fountain". The Telegraph. Retrieved 13 July 2014. 
  22. ^ Ward-Jackson 2011, pp. 120–2
  23. ^ "Banksy "One Nation Under CCTV"". Hypebeast. 15 April 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  24. ^ "Council orders Banksy art removal". BBC News. 24 October 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 
  25. ^ Blackwood, John (1989). London’s Immortals: The Complete Outdoor Commemorative Statues. London and Oxford: Savoy Press. , p. 66
  • Ward-Jackson, Philip (2011), Public Sculpture of Historic Westminster: Volume 1, Public Sculpture of Britain, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press