Arthur Wellesley Duke Of Wellington

  • Free to visit

Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, was reportedly born at 24 Upper Merrion Street, Dublin in 1769. Wellington famously defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo and went on to become Prime Minister of England in 1828. There are a number of monuments around Dublin to commemorate him, the most obvious being the 203-foot high obelisk in Phoenix Park.

Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, was born in Dublin and spent his childhood in Trim, Co. Meath where he received his early education. He served as a member of the Corporation and later as a Member of Parliament representing Trim. Wellington had been noted for his military prowess; he famously defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. He went on to become Prime Minister of England in 1828. A statue on a pillar in Trim erected in 1817 commemorates him. Busts in Trinity College and the National Gallery in Dublin are all dedicated to the memory of the "Iron Duke".

The Wellington Testimonial Monument in the Phoenix Park is the most famous monument. The structure is 62 metres (203 ft) tall, making it the largest obelisk in Europe. Originally planned to be located in Merrion Square, it was built in the Phoenix Park after opposition from the Square's residents. The obelisk was designed by the architect Sir Robert Smirke and the foundation stone was laid in 1817. In 1820 it ran out of construction funds and therefore remained unfinished until 18 June 1861 when it opened to the public. There were also plans for a statue of Wellesley on horseback, but the shortage of funds ruled that out.

The Wellington Testimonial has four bronze plaques cast from cannons captured at Waterloo. The plaques depict 'Civil and Religious Liberty' by John Hogan, 'Waterloo' by Thomas Farrell and the 'Indian Wars' by Joseph Robinson Kirk. The inscription reads: "Asia and Europe, saved by thee, proclaim /Invincible in war thy deathless name /Now round thy brow the civic oak we twine /That every earthly glory may be thine".

The location of the monument in the Phoenix Park means that you have a full day's worth of activities at hand: rent a bicycle and look for the wild Deer, visit the Zoo, visit the President's residence, visit Farmleigh House & Victorian Gardens, see the Magazine Fort, visit Ashtown Castle and Phoenix Park Visitor Centre and more.

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