It’s a victory arch, a traffic island and was once home to London’s smallest police station; now Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner is about to become a gallery. Built in 1828 to commemorate Wellington’s defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte, it originally faced the entrance to Hyde Park. By 1883, the roads around it had become one big Victorian traffic jam, so it was moved to its current location. It was later used as a police station boasting 18 officers and a cat called Snooks, before its closure in the 1960s. In the late ’90s, English Heritage took over the arch, opening it to the public. Now, after a refurbishment the arch is reopening with the new Quadriga Gallery (a reference to the monumental sculpture group which sumounts the arch) on the top two floors. It will host exhibitions on aspects of English history, kicking off with ‘Stonehenge: Moumental Journey’ (until June 24). Whatever is on display, the views from the balconies are worth a visit in their own right, and would have impressed the Iron Duke himself. Will Davenport
For info, see english-heritage.org.uk/wellingtonarch.