A statue of Lord Byron, erected in what was part of Hyde Park at the time but is now marooned in a roundabout, should be moved to a better location, according to a campaign that aims to do just that.

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The sculpture, officially the Byron Memorial Statue, was installed near Hyde Park Corner in 1880 in a tear-shaped slice of the park known as Hamilton Gardens.

However, in the late 1950s, the road layout around Hyde Park Corner was radically changed, with Hamilton Gardens substantially reduced to make space for more roads, and the Byron statue ended up isolated and alone on a roundabout.

Getting up close to the statue now requires a dash across three busy lanes without any pedestrian crossings.

(c) ianVisits

It wasn’t supposed to be like that though, as the government had promised to relocate the statue during the road works. They didn’t.

On the bicentenary of his death, the Byron Society is trying to fulfil that promise with a fundraising campaign to restore and move the statue.

The Royal Parks have offered a new, much higher-profile location near Hyde Park’s Victoria Gate, which is in the northern middle of the park, close to Lancaster Gate tube station. The plot is currently a lawn with bedding plants so that the statue would stand freely against the tree backdrop.

According to the Byron Society, the Department for Culture (DCMS) wants to see the move take place as soon as possible, and although official planning permission hasn’t been secured, they don’t anticipate any problems. Work will commence as soon as all the planning consents have been obtained and sufficient funds have been raised. When re-sited, the Society will promote an educational and outreach programme linked to the statue.

The cost is expected to be in the region of £360,000, which they hope to raise from large donors and the Heritage Lottery Fund, but to show public support for the project, they are also fundraising directly.

Details about how to support the project are here.

(c) ianVisits


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  1. NG says:

    Get rid of the roundabout?

  2. Keith says:

    Looking on Google Maps it looks like there is/was a subway on the south edge of the roundabout on either side of the road. From street map view though this appears to blocked up. If there is a subway crossing there maybe it should be reopened.

    There’s probably a reasonable case to convert the roundabout, as per Old Street. The northern edge of the roundabout currently has the anomaly of a bus stand on the inside lane.

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