National Recording Project


Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

Monument to the Duke of Wellington, Great Hall, Guildhall


Type Sculpture

     This is a three figure monument. At the centre on an inscribed plinth stands the Duke, "in his usual costume, with the addition of the Ribbon of the Garter, the Star of the Bath, the Waterloo Medal, and a military cloak". He holds a field marshal's baton in his left hand and a scroll (the Peace of 1815) in his right. He is shown at a more advanced age than in the relief of the Battle of Waterloo below. At his feet are papers and a volume with the word DESPATCHES inscribed on its spine. The Duke looks in the direction of the allegory of Peace. This allegory, an amply draped female figure is seated to the left, looking up towards the Duke. She wears an olive crown, holds a bunch of corn in her raised right hand, and an oak wreath in her extended left hand. On her knee is a scroll and a book. Her robe is scattered with roses and fleurs de lys. To the right of the Duke is a figure representing War. This a heavily muscled and mustachioed male figure, wearing plumed helmet, cuirass and buskins. The shoulder plates of his armour are decorated with roses, the back plates with thistles, the fringe of his buskins with shamrocks. He leans on his sheathed sword and holds up a victor's wreath. On the central panel of the pedestal is a large relief depiction of The Last Charge at Waterloo. In this relief, the Duke himself is represented on horseback on high ground to the left. He raises his hat in the air as the lines of British and French infantry engage in the struggle. Napoleon and a group of cavalry are visible in the distance, in a parting of the cannon smoke, at the top right. The Marquis of Anglesey is portrayed amongst the British soldiery, whilst Marshal Ney is shown on a rearing horse, behind the French front line. In the foreground to the left are the wounded and the dead, to the right some graphic depictions of violent conflict. The side panels of the pedestal correspond with the allegorical figures above them. In the left panel is a cartouche containing a dove with an olive branch in its beak, and the words (taken from the Aeneid) PACIS IMPONERE MOREM. Behind are a spade and a distaff. In the right panel are the Duke's own crest, a lion's head, and his motto VIRTUTIS FORTUNA COMES, in a cartouche, backed by a sabre and a sword.


On the upper panel of the plinth of the portrait statue: ARTHUR WELLESLEY/ DUKE OF WELLINGTON, BORN 1769. DIED 1852 On the lower panel of the plinth of the portrait statue within a triple laurel wreath: WISDOM DUTY HONOUR

Contributor details

Contributor Role
Bell, John Sculptor

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Sculptural group Marble 800x430

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
General condition Fair
Surface condition
Structural condition
Road None
Precise location Great Hall, Guildhall
A-Z ref None
OS ref None

Sorry, we have no precise geographical information for this item.

Date of design 1854-57
Year of unveiling None
Unveiling details None
Commissioned by Corporation of London
Duty of care None
Listing status Don't know
At risk? No known risk

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