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Anorak | Arch Villains

Arch Villains

by | 27th, January 2006

‘IT sounds not too unlike the sale of London Bridge to the American entrepreneur Robert P. McCulloch (he was under the mistaken belief that he was buying Tower Bridge, though McCulloch himself strongly denied this).

The Times reports that English Heritage plans to open about 30 of its 120 historic buildings to holidaymakers., targeting the self-catering market.

The Times opens the grand brochure and notes that for the Easter break, holidaymakers can rent a three-bedroom house inside the grounds of Dover Castle.

Or how about a cottage in the grounds of Queen Victoria’s former home, Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight? There’s access to a private beach, used by the Royal Family in the days before timeshares in Benidorm became the fashion.

But the place that stands out is Wellington Arch. Londoners will know Wellington Arch to be a structure that stands in the centre of a large traffic island by the city’s Hyde Park.

It was designed by Decimus Burton as a memorial to Sir Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, soldier and Prime Minister.

Only, the Times says, the Arch is “more popularly known as Marble Arch”. Marble Arch is a more famous place. It was originally erected on The Mall as a gateway to Buckingham Palace. It’s got a Tube station named after it. It stands near London’s Hyde Park. But it is not to be converted into flats, as Wellington Arch is.

On the face of it, we suggest that Valerie Elliott, the Times’s writer, has erred. While we can forgive a woman billed as the paper’s “countryside editor” this cityscape oversight, we are concerned that her words might confuse visitors, especially Americans.

In the spirit of hands across the ocean, we tell you that Wellington Arch and Marble Arch are not one and the same, just as London Bridge is not Tower Bridge.

And, whatever the cab driver tells you, getting to either Arch doesn’t require that you repeatedly crossing the river…’



Posted: 27th, January 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink