Twenty years after Nelson's victory over Napoleon in the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar, a new square was created as a monument to the triumph of British naval power. Approved by an Act of Parliament in 1826, the Square was to be a dramatic open space linking the major routes across London.

The square was built to the design of Sir Charles Barry, the well known architect of the Houses of Parliament. Barry levelled the site which had a distinct slope towards the River Thames, creating a terrace on the north side with steps down to the square proper. Construction of the new public space was completed in 1845, at a cost for granite alone of �10,000.

It is interesting to note that Barry opposed the installation of Nelson's Column. His objection was overruled and the column has undoubtedly become the dominant landmark of the Square he designed.

Sir Charles Barry's plan of Trafalgar Square, 1830 Public Record Office
Contemporary photograph by Jeremy Young
Plan of the present Square
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