Marble Arch

Marble Arch is situated at the westernmost end of Oxford Street, where Oxford Street intersects with Park Lane and Edgware Road.

Marble Arch at Bob the Brit

Designed by John Nash, and constructed in 1828, the arch originally designed stood as the east entrance to the central courtyard of Buckingham Palace (facing The Mall) however in 1855, the arch was moved to its present location.

Perceived wisdom is that the arch was moved from Buckingham Palace because it was too narrow for the State Coach to pass through but, in fact, the gold state coach passed under it during the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

However, only members of the royal family and the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, have been allowed to pass through the arch in ceremonial procession.

Marble Arch is situated close to the site of the Tyburn Gallows, one of London’s most famous (infamous?) places of public execution. The first recorded hanging at the ‘Tyburn Tree’ took place in 1196 (William Fitz Osbert or alternatively ‘William with the long beard’ – the convicted leader of an uprising ‘of the poor’) and the last (John Austin – a Highwayman) in 1783.

Convicts en-route from prison to Tyburn were forbidden alcohol and were said to be ‘on the wagon’, but legend has it that the aforementioned wagons would stop en-route to allow the condemned ‘one for the road’.

The Swan Tavern at Lancaster Gate lays claim to be the stopping point for such ‘last orders’, but as most convicts’ journeys to Tyburn would have been due east along Oxford Street from Newgate, it must be said that it would have required a somewhat tortuous route.