On a stroll over towards Hyde Park, you might notice that Marble Arch is looking somewhat covered. Covered, not by the shadow of a mound that’s being built next to it (don’t worry, that isn’t returning), but by scaffolding to give it all a little spring cleaning.
Now, if you’re thinking that the famous gateway is entering its party hat era, you might be waiting a little while. It’s not about to get sprayed with colour, but it is receiving a glow-up of sorts.
The scaffolding may block the view, but there are reasons, with Marble Arch being armoured up by conservation works to its exterior, which will fix the damage caused by the natural elements as well as from fumes emitted by the many vehicles passing through the area.
Its makeover also includes a general clean to both the metal gates, outer marble, and roof, plus a replacement for any missing pieces of structure that have gone walkabout.
The timescale on the works to Marble Arch is thought to be over a year, so we can really expect it to come out glossy and shiny (much like its fellow London landmark, Big Ben), hopefully at some point in 2024.
Wait, what is Marble Arch?
It’s easy to pass by this beast of a structure all the time and not stop to think about where it came from or why it’s there. Marble Arch was first completed in 1833 after being designed in 1827 John Nash. It originally sat outside Buckingham Palace, as an entrance to the rebuilt courtyard of the royal home.
However, it was moved was taken down in 1847 and rebuilt in its current spot in 1851. It was rumoured that the arch had to leave its more regal location due to it being too tight a squeeze for the Queen’s state coach. The plot ended up thickening, though, with Queen Elizabeth II passing underneath it during her coronation.
Whatever the reason, it’s safe to say we’re used to it in its current location now, and will look out for the day of Marble Arch’s grand makeover reveal!