The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 6 St James's Park

Admiralty Arch

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From Charing Cross we enter St. James's Park by passing under the Admiralty Arch, through which we enjoy a striking view down the 'triumphal avenue' of the Mall, with the Victoria Memorial and Buckingham Palace closing the vista. This massive triumphal arch, designed by Sir Aston Webb as part of the national memorial to Queen Victoria, is connected by a bridge with the main Admiralty Buildings, of which it is an annexe. Its north half ('Mall House') is the official residence of the First Sea Lord. The north side of the Arch abuts upon Spring Gardens, a short street so called from a former royal garden, afterwards a pleasure-resort, with a surprise-fountain. The first offices of the London County Council, in this street, are now the Old County Hall Galleries. On the left, immediately beyond the Arch, is a bronze statue of Captain Cook (1728-79), the circumnavigator, by Brock (1914). In the grass-plot on the west side of the Admiralty Buildings stands an excellent bronze statue of James II. in Roman costume, by Grinling Gibbons. This statue, originally erected behind the Banqueting Hall, stood there until 1897, an undisturbed witness to the unvindictive character of the Revolution. It was then removed to the garden in front of Gwydyr House, and to its present position in 1903.