Number One, London

Today Lovely Lindsay, Prof. Peter and I toddled of for a day of culture in London. First stop was Apsley House, home of Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington.

It was known as Number One, London because it was the first house encountered from the countryside after passing the tollgates at the top of Knightsbridge.

As well as various Wellington artefacts (no boots, you have to go to Walmer Castle for that), there’s a fantastic art collection, including Velázquez portrait of Pope Innocent I (as found in Joseph Bonaparte’s baggage when he was fleeing after Waterloo).

The most impressive is this Canova sculpture of Napoleon.

Interestingly, Napoleon didn’t want the statue when it was finished. One wonders if Wellington was chuffed when he had it presented to him. Apart from anything else, he had to have the hall floor reinforced!

As, this is the closest weekend to Waterloo Day (June 18th) – there were various ‘special events’. Will we regret avoiding:

The Battle of Waterloo with Vegetables – every move of the battle with nothing but as basket of whatever comes to hand.

It was all a bit too much for some!