One of the most iconic of memorials in London’s city centre, the Shaftesbury Memorial fountain is often thought to represent the God Eros, when really it is Eros’s brother Anteros, who represents not the immature love of Eros but a wiser, all-encompassing love, which only comes with age. It is no surprise then that the statue is in commemoration of Lord Shaftesbury, a Victorian Philanthropist and politician who was known for both his wisdom and his charitable works. The bow and arrow held by the winged figure has two theories as to where it’s pointing. Some think it to be pointing to Shatesbury’s seat in St Giles, Dorset and others believe it to be pointing up Shaftesbury Avenue, also a namesake of the philanthropist.
The statue of the winged nude was created by Alfred Gilbert in 1892 and was the first statue in the world to be cast in Aluminium and Bronze. The sculpture was built in Gilbert’s studio with the help of his model, Angelo Colarossi. The winged God of selfless Love is also the emblem used by London’s Evening Standard Newspaper and has become one of the great icons of London.
The Shaftesbury Memorial fountain is located in Piccadilly Circus, the theatre district of London. Nearby to the statue one can find the Harold Pinter Theatre, the Piccadilly Theatre and the Jermyn Street Theatre. There are also many cinema’s including the Picture house Central and Cineworld of Leicester Square. The area of Soho is also in the vicinity. Soho plays host to many of the city’s best bars and nightclubs, giving you a chance to explore the wondrous architecture of the Shaftesbury Memorial fountain by night as well.
The best shopping opportunities is the nearby Covent Garden. Here guests at the Lancaster Gate Hotel London can find a wide array of high street and fashionable shops including the Fred Perry shop showcasing some of the best in British clothes design. Here you can also find many great cafes and restaurants, located in the heart of London.
The closest Tube stop to the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain is Piccadilly Circus on the Piccadilly and Bakerloo Line. On top of this there is also the nearby Leicester Square station which hosts the Piccadilly Line and Northern Line. Green Park is in close proximity to Piccadilly Circus as well and although it is a walk, Lancaster Gate Hotel guests can walk to the memorial or alternatively use bus services or a short tube connection.