History | William Wilkins
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The History of William Wilkins

William Wilkins, a Norwich born architect who had previously worked in Great Yarmouth building a new spire for St Nicholas' Church, was chosen by the committee in March 1815 to design the Nelson Monument. Wilkins adapted his own design created for his Nelson Pillar built in Dublin from 1808-9. This design differs considerably from the Monument we know today.


There was no sign of Britannia, the column was to be graced by a Greek trireme, a ship of war, and there was also due to be a sarcophagus on the plinth facing West. William Wilkins was a protagonist of the Greek Revival style and Nelsons Monument is a prefect example of this austere and pared down architecture, imposing in it's simplicity.


There are examples if Wilkins's work dotted around East Anglia such as the Shirehall in Norwich and Downing College in Cambridge but possibly his most famous work is the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, London.



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