A blog about life in London

What The Heck Is Admiralty Arch

What The Heck Is Admiralty Arch

If you have ever visited Trafalgar Square in London, England it would be impossible for you not to have noticed the archway that leads through  to The Mall. Now I may be really confusing things for the hapless tourist or unknowledgeable locals.

The archway, which is called Admiralty Arch, provides a road and pedestrian route between The Mall, which is the road, that runs from Buckingham Palace to just beside Trafalgar Square. Now you know what I’m talking about!

I have obviously seen the structure numerous times and one day it dawned on me what the heck was Admiralty Arch used for and what was the original purpose of it. I guess it was just one of many interesting looking buildings that I pass all the time in London without really knowing anything about it.

Lets start at the beginning, Admiralty Arch was the brain wave of King Edward VII, who had it built in honour of his mother Queen Victoria. It was completed in 1912, but unfortunately the King never lived to see its completion. I wonder if the King spent his own money or the good old tax payers?

Admiralty Arch gets its name from the Old Admiralty building, which it is linked to via a bridge. Do we really need to know, care or have even heard of the person that designed it, well he was Sir Aston Web.

Admiralty Arch1

So I suppose the next question is what is this rather grand and historic building used for nowadays, well nothing exciting. It is currently used as office space by the Cabinet Office and possible a very secretive extra terrestrial counter intelligence unit funded by Mayor Boris. I made the last bit up or did I.

A wee quirk or feature of Admiralty Arch is its nose, yes you heard me, a replica and life sized human nose, which adorns one of the inside walls. It is about 7 feet from the ground and you should be able to find it without too much trouble.

The as and why the nose is there, no one really knows for sure. But it is commonly thought it is there in honour of the Duke of Wellington who had a rather large nose. I’m not sure what the nose is actually called or known as, is it the London Nose or the Admiralty Arch Nose or perhaps The Dukes Nose.

So the next time you walk past Admiralty Arch in London, you will actually know a little bit about it and watch out for those alien hunters.


  1. Admiralty Arch in London,captivates very body in the world.It takes you to the different world only. The human size nose is amazing.

  2. What really gets me about the arch are the roman numerals. They add up to 1910 but they should read MCMX not MDCCCCX what’s that all about?

  3. Anthony, what’s it about… indeed that is something I haven’t got an answer to.