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Trafalgar Square

 
Address
Westminster
London, WC2N 5
 
 
 
 

Trafalgar Square is named for the historic 1805 Royal Navy victory of the Napoleonic Wars, and is dominated by Nelson's Column on the south side. The square was cleared for redevelopment in 1820 and completed in its current form in 1845 by the architect Sir Charles Barry. Originally fully enclosed by roads, the northern side was closed and terraced in 2003 under design by Foster and Partners, creating safe public access to the National Gallery and enlarging the area of the Square.

Trafalgar Square has been the focal point of numerous events in its history, both planned and spontaneous. Arguably the preeminent gathering place of central London, its design allows heavy attendance but also confinement in the event of disorder, with the two huge fountains and high walls breaking up crowds into smaller areas. As well as the iconic Nelson's Column, the square is dominated by its plinths, three of which feature statues, while the fourth famously remains 'empty' to a permanent piece. Currently statues and artwork rotate on the plinth according to competitions and the will of the serving public authority.

As a geographic guide to what you see onscreen in The Blind Banker, Sherlock and John walk between the southern side of the western fountain and Nelson's Column before proceeding north up the steps towards the National Gallery. The scene was filmed from the northern side of the western fountain, as you can see in the photographs.

Trafalgar Square also briefly appears twice in The Reichenbach Fall, when Sherlock and John drive past in a taxi on two separate occasions along the southern side on the A4 and A400 routes.

Trafalgar Square sits square in the centre of London, amongst some of its most recognisable locations as seen in Sherlock. To the north, Charing Cross Road leads to Leicester Square and Chinatown. The Mall connects to the southwest, which in turn leads to Buckingham Palace. Whitehall is on the southern edge of the Square, which leads down to Westminster Square and the Houses of Parliament. And to the east, Northumberland Avenue allows access to the Thames and the South Bank via Hungerford Bridge, passing The Sherlock Holmes Pub on the way.

Charing Cross [Bakerloo, Northern] has an exit into the Square itself, and is the most expedient way to access it. Alternatively, Leicester Square [Piccadilly, Northern] is also close by, but requires a short walk south down Charing Cross Road.

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