Secret London: Marble Arch
Little Known Facts about Marble Arch
Marble Arch was designed to commemorate the British victories at Trafalgar and Waterloo. The arch's sculpted reliefs represent England, Scotland and Ireland.
The area was once home to the largest cinema screen in London in the Odeon Marble Arch. The screen was originally over 75 feet wide.
The area is near to the largest Marks & Spencer store in the United Kingdom.
The Marble Arch itself is made of Carrara marble. For the famed sculptor Michelangelo, Carrara marble was valued above all other stone.
In 1571, the Tyburn Tree was erected near the modern Marble Arch. The ‘Tree’ or ‘Triple Tree’ was a form of gallows where several felons could be hanged at once. The events at Tyburn gave rise to the popular phrase "one for the road" which refers to the practice of allowing a condemned man to have one last drink at any ale house en-route. Transported to the gallows by wagon, it was policy for one of the guards minding the prisoner to remain in charge of the cart. So as they weren’t allowed to drink, the saying "on the wagon" also came into being.