Victoria Tower Gardens
Victoria Tower Gardens is a public park along the north bank of the River Thames in London. As its name suggests, is adjacent to the Victoria Tower, the south-western corner of the Palace of Westminster. The park, which extends southwards from the Palace to Lambeth Bridge, sandwiched between Millbank and the river, also forms part of the Thames Embankment.
Victoria Tower Gardens is a Grade II* listed park created in 1864–1870, following the embankment of the Thames. It is in a Conservation Area, is partly within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Westminster, and is designated a zone of Monument Saturation.
The gardens were later expanded. This expansion was discussed in parliament in 1898 in the 'Victoria Embankment extension and St John's improvement bill'. A number of wharves were compulsorily purchased, including Dorset Wharf (shown on 1885 map) which was purchased from George Taverner Miller, son of Taverner John Miller, from where he ran a "Sperm Oil Merchants and Spermaceti refining" business. The effects from this business and others were sold in 1905.
The park features:
- A cast of the sculpture The Burghers of Calais by Auguste Rodin, purchased by the British government in 1911 and positioned in the gardens in 1915.
- A 1930 statue of the suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst by Arthur George Walker, now entitled the Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst Memorial
- The Buxton Memorial Fountain – originally constructed in Parliament Square, this was removed in 1940 and placed in its present position in 1957. It was commissioned by Charles Buxton MP to commemorate the abolition of slavery in 1834, dedicated to his father Thomas Fowell Buxton, and designed by Gothic architect Samuel Sanders Teulon (1812–1873) in 1865.
- A stone wall with two modern-style goats with kids – situated at the southern end of the Gardens.
- From 4 to 11 August 2014 the light installation spectra by Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda was situated in the gardens to commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War.
UK Holocaust Memorial
In January 2015 David Cameron announced on behalf of the Holocaust Memorial Foundation that there was to be a new UK Holocaust Memorial and associated Learning Centre built in central London. At that stage three particular sites were proposed: the Imperial War Museum, near London City Hall, and the Millbank Tower podium. However, in July 2016 it was announced that Victoria Tower Gardens had been chosen for both the memorial and underground learning centre. A design competition was launched, in spite of strong opposition to the use of this small park, and in October 2017 the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation jury announced their chosen design. The proposed construction will be submitted for planning permission to Westminster City Council who will have to consider breaching their own rules on new monuments in this zone and the effect on heritage views of the Palace of Westminster.
- "VICTORIA EMBANKMENT EXTENSION AND ST. JOHN'S IMPROVEMENT BILL". Hansard Millbank. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
- "Corporation of London". The National Archive. Archived from the original on 2012-08-10. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
- "Westminster changes in 1905". Oxford Journals. 1906-04-07. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
- "Adjaye Associates and Ron Arad Architects win UK Holocaust Memorial international design competition". UK Government website. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
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