18 November 2015

Aspley House and The Wellington Arch

Aspley House and The Wellington Arch
London Studies
October 2015

As all Abba fans know Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo and 2015 being the 200th Anniversary of that battle, the London Studies visit in October was firstly to the home of the Duke of Wellington - the victor (with some friends) of that event to be followed by the nearby related Wellington Arch.

Avoiding the 9.09 am cattle truck the group of 24 took the more civilised later train from Edenbridge Town and after a coffee break at Victoria headed for Hyde Park Corner, where Apsley House the home of the Duke and his descendants since 1817 is based. The austere exterior of the house conceals a superb collection of first class paintings and other works of art - many of them being gifts following his various successes on the battlefield. Others being originally intended for or owned by Napoleon. To the victor the spoils! The former Emperor was also present in the form of a colossal statue with just a fig leaf to protect what remained of his dignity. And did he look nervous with Autumn upon us? 

The group then moved on to the nearby Wellington Arch which was originally built as a triumphal entrance to commemorate victories in the Napoleonic wars and has views over the surrounding area as well as, this year, a special exhibition on Waterloo. 

The group then dispersed with some taking time to look at the various memorials in the area including that to Bomber Command whilst others made their way onto somewhere for lunch or home.