The Duke of Wellington by Sir Francis Chantrey (completed by Henry Weekes). 1837-44. Bronze equestrian statue on a pedestal of red Petershead granite. Dimensions: statue 4.28m high; pedestal 4.28m high. Inscription on both sides of pedestal: “WELLINGTON.” Inscription on front and back of pedestal: “ERECTED/JUNE 18/1844.” Situated in Cornhill, in front of the Royal Exchange, London. [Click on these images for larger pictures.]

The write-up of the unveiling in the Illustrated London News was quite amusing. So much was wrong with the horse, the Duke himself, and even the pedestal. As for the horse, "to our eye, the chest and shoulders are disproportionately large, the head is too sharp, the neck tuo short," and so on. Then, the figure of the Duke seemed "ill-proportioned, whilst the position is objectionable." As for the pedestal, that was seen as "disproportionately small for the statue, whilst its plainness ill accords with the highly embellished building which it fronts." The ceremony itself was appropriate enough, with the crowd being told that the metal for the statue was given by the government, sourced from the very guns "which Wellington himself had taken from the enemy" (404).

Links to Related Material

Photographs and caption by Robert Freidus. Additional text by Jacqueline Banerjee. formatting by George P. Landow and Banerjee, with thanks to Shirley Nicholson for pointing out that the location of the statue had been omitted. You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.]


Byron, Arthur. London Statues. London: Constable. 1981.

Ward-Jackson, Philip. Public Sculpture of the City of London. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2003.

"The Wellington Statue." The Illustrated London News. 22 June 1844: 404. Internet Archive. Web. 13 January 2024.

Created 15 June 2011

Last Modified 13 January 2024