Not all statues are just statues. There are more to some than meets the eye. A good example of this is the statue of King Charles I, just south of Trafalgar Square in London. This is the point from which road distances to London are traditionally measured. So all those signposts you see telling you how many miles there are until you reach London are measured from this central point.
If you look at the ground by the statue you will see a small plaque which explains that originally on this spot was Queen Eleanor’s Cross. It states that all measurements are taken from this site, now occupied by the statue. The Queen Eleanor Cross itself has an interesting story, more of which can be found here. The cross was sadly destroyed during the Civil War in 1647 and was later replaced by the statue you can see today. A replica of this cross can be found in front of Charing Cross Station.
The King Charles I statue was cast by French sculptor Hubert Le Sueur in 1638 but was ordered to be melted down by Parliament. Unlike the cross though, it survived. Metalsmith, John Rivet, hid the statue instead of melting it down. After the Restoration it was placed on a pedestal in its current location. The statue has remained there ever since, except for its brief evacuation to Leighton Buzzard during WWII.
If you know of a curiosity that you think should be featured, then drop us an email with a picture and a few words to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’ve spotted a quirky building, unusual architectural feature or some other random object on your travels around the UK then we want to hear from you!