An Embankment Gardens Walk

Route & what to see

A walk between Embankment and Temple tube stations looking at statues, memorials, commemorations and street furniture

Exit the station on the embankment side and cross.
W S GILBERT (1836-1911) memorial by Sir George Frampton 1915 with figures of comedy & tragedy. His foe was folly and his weapon wit.

Walk eastwards along the Embankment
LAMP STANDARDS with dolphins by C H Mabey. BENCHES with sphinxes or camels are 1977 reproductions of 1870s originals.

CLEOPATRA’S NEEDLE made for Thothmes III c1468 BC. Presented to the nation by the Egyptian Viceroy in 1819 it came to London in 1877 after a floating iron cylinder was made to transport it. The bronze sphinxes, based on a small figure owned by the Duke of Northumberland, were added in 1882.

Cross to:
BELGIAN WAR MEMORIAL of 1917-20 designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield. It features a group of bronze figures by Victor Rousseau. To the British Nation from the grateful people of Belgium

Return westwards and enter the Embankment Gardens
YORK WATER GATE of 1626-7 which gave access to York House (demolished in 1676).

Walk eastwards through the gardens
ROBERT BURNS (1759-96) statue by Sir John Steell 1882-4. The poetic genius of my country found me at the plough and threw her inspiring mantle over me. She bade me sing the loves, the joys, the rural scenes and rural pleasures of my native soil, in my native tongue. I tuned my wild artless notes as she inspired.

IMPERIAL CAMEL CORPS monument by Cecil Brown 1920 features a mounted figure, two bas reliefs and lists of names and engagements. To the glorious and immortal memory of the officers, NCOs and men of the Imperial Camel Corps; British, Australia, New Zealand, India who fell in action or died of wounds & disease in Egypt, Sinai & Palestine 1916 – 1917 – 1918.

MAJOR GENERAL 1ST LORD CHEYLESMORE GBE, KCMG, KCVO (1848-1925) Grenadier Guards soldier, administrator, philanthropist and steadfast friend. Screen wall with seats and pond by Edwin Lutyens 1926-30

SIR WILFRED LAWSON BT (1829-1906) of Brayton Cumbria. MP Carlisle Cockermouth Camborne 1859-1906. President of the UK Alliance 1879-1906. Statue by David McGill 1909. Allegorical figures of Peace, Temperance, Charity & Fortitude were stolen from the base in 1979.

The oak tree was planted by the Lord Mayor of Westminster on behalf of the employees of Shell UK to replace those lost in the storm of October 1987.

This tree was planted to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

Under this tree people of all faiths and nationalities, united in grief, laid wreaths in memory of those killed on 7 July 2005 following the attack on London’s public transport system. The City will endure – it is the future of our world (Ken Livingstone – Mayor of London).

Fossil Tree – Britain in Bloom trophy 1971.

HENRY FAWCETT (1833-84) memorial designed by Basil Champneys in 1886 with ornamental details by Frampton and sculptured relief by Mary Grant. Erected to the memory of Henry Fawcett by his grateful countrywomen.

ROBERT RAIKES (1735-1811) founder of Sundays Schools 1780. This statue was erected under the direction of the Sunday Schools Union by contributuions from teachers and scholars of Sunday Schools in Great Britain July 1880. Statue by Thomas Brock 1880.

ACER GRISEUM planted in the shadow of the Savoy Hotel by the Savoy Gastronomes on their 40th anniversary March 2011.

D’OYLY CARTE memorial in the form of a garden with astrolobe 1989 [pictured in header]. This garden was given to London by the Savoy in celebration of its centenary. To honour Richard D’Oyly Carte proprietor of the Savoy Theatre, founder and chairman of the Savoy Hotel 1889-1901. Other D’Oyly Carte family members and trustees of the Opera Trust are commemorated.

ARTHUR SULLIVAN (1842-1900) memorial by Sir W Goscombe John 1903. The nude, modelled in Paris in 1890-9 was an afterthought. Is Life a Boon? If so it must befal that death when he call must call to soon – WS Gilbert.

Exit towards the Savoy and continue eastwards
BBC PLAQUE on the Institution of Electrical Engineers building. From 1923-32 the studios and offices of the BBC were in this building.

MICHAEL FARADAY (1791-1867) bronze statue of 1988 is a copy of the marble version by Foley at the Royal Institution.

On riverside
SIR WALTER BESANT (1836-1901) monument by Frampton 1904 is a copy of that at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Continue eastwards
ISAMBARD KINGDOM BRUNEL Civil Engineer b.1806 d.1859. Statue by Marochetti commissioned for Parliament Square in 1861 but installed here in 1872-4 on a surround by Norman Shaw.

Continue eastwards through gardens
W E FORSTER (1818-1886). To his wisdom and courage England owes the establishment throughout the land of the National system of Elementary Education. Statue by Henry Pinker 1889-90.

LADY SOMERSET (1851-1921) From the children of the Loyal Temperance Legion in memory of the work done for the temperance cause by Lady Henry Somerset, the president of the National British Womens Temperance Association incorporated June 1896. I was thirsty and ye gave me drink. Memorial by GE Wade 1897. The little girl holding a bowl of water is a replacement of 1991 for that stolen in 1971. Fountain no longer operational.

JOHN STUART MILL (1806-73) seated figure by Thomas Woolner 1875-8.

Exit gardens and cross to riverside
W T STEAD (1849-1912) bas relief by Frampton 1913-20 with figures of Fortitude & Sympathy. There is a similar memorial in New York’s Central Park. This memorial to a journalist of wide renown was erected near the spot where he worked for more than 30 years by journalists of many lands in recognition of his brilliant gifts, fervant spirit and untiring devotion to the service of his fellow men.

TEMPLE STAIRS arch of 1868 with bronzes of boys riding ships or dolphins by CLJ Doman. In commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the accession of HM King George V this reach of the river between London Bridge and Westminster Bridge was with His Majesty’s gracious permission named by the PLA ‘Kings Reach’ May 1935.

CITY DRAGONS (not Griffins!) on plinths which were made by Dewer in 1849. These represent a constituent part of the armorial bearings of the City of London and have been erected to indicate the western boundary of the City. The dragons were formerly mounted above the entrance of the City’s coal exchange which was demolished in 1963.

A bas relief with lists of lost vessels and figures of Truth & Justice. Hooks in the form of anchors are used to display wreaths. Erected to the memory of the officers and men of the British Navy who lost their lives serving submarines 1914-18 & 1939-45.

Return along the Embankment to Temple tube station. 2012

Buildings of England London 6: Westminster by Bradley & Pevsner
Biographies on Wikipedia [
London Remembers [