London’s Talking Statues: where they are and how they work

Hyde Park

Hyde Park

Hyde Park is one of London’s eight royal parks. In terms of area it ranks fourth: Hyde Park covers 142 hectares. By comparison, Richmond Park is the largest: its area is 955 hectares.

All the royal parks are managed by a special agency – The Royal Parks. London residents and tourists can use the parks for recreational purposes such as relaxing and walking, but they have no right to break the established order.

Hyde Park stands out among the rest by the fact that since ancient times there have been various rallies (there is even a specially designated place called “Speakers’ Corner”) and celebrations. Now it is quite a popular and favorite place of rest for London residents.

Hyde Park

Hyde Park Attractions in London

Never been to Hyde Park, but really want to visit it? We will take you on a little tour and tell you what interesting and unusual things you can see there.

Speakers Corner

This is probably the main attraction of the park. It appeared in 1872. Anyone could take the floor on an improvised podium and freely express his thoughts. Sometimes not only workers, but also famous people, such as Karl Marx and George Orwell became orators. By the way, long before these events, there was a gallows where the death penalty was carried out. Convicts were given the last word, allowed to say whatever they wanted.

To this day, Orators’ Corner is a symbol of freedom and the struggle for one’s rights. Even now, the place is practically never empty: someone is bound to take the floor here. There are a few interesting points: it is forbidden to insult the Queen, blaspheme, call for violence; the speaker must stand on a chair, box or other object and only then begin to speak (it is forbidden to swear while standing with your feet on the kings land).

Wellington’s Arch.

The Arch was erected in 1830 to commemorate the victory of troops led by the Duke of Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo. It was first established in Green Park (the smallest of London’s Royal Parks), then moved to Hyde Park because of road widening.

The arch was designed by architect Decimus Burton to feature a bronze horse and several small sculptures. However, it was adorned with a sculpture of the Duke of Wellington. Decimus disliked it so much that he offered a large sum for the demolition of his own brainchild. He did not succeed in carrying it out. The arch stood in this form for more than a decade. In 1912, instead of the sculpture of Wellington, a chariot appeared there, drawn by four horses, ruled by an angel with a crown of victory in his hand.

Statue of Achilles

The largest statue in Hyde Park. It was created to commemorate the victory over Napoleon at Waterloo. The statue is cast from the cannons taken from the battlefield. Installed the statue in 1822.

Apsley House

At the southeastern end of Hyde Park is the residence of the Dukes of Wellington. It is one of London’s most famous houses. Apsley House was built between 1771 and 1778. Now the northern part of the building is closed to the public, and in the other half is the Arthur Wellington Museum (there is a rich collection of paintings).

Princess Diana Memorial

This monument was opened in Hyde Park in 2004. The fountain was designed by Catherine Gustafson, a world-renowned artist and landscape designer. The shape of the fountain is unusual, like a bowl: one trough the water flows slowly, symbolizing a calm and bright period in the life of Diana, the other – swiftly, like a mountain stream, recalling the difficult trial of the princess and her death.

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Lake Serpentine

In English “serpentine” means snake. The lake did not get such a name by accident. In shape, it really resembles a writhing snake. This irregular shape (oblong, with uneven banks) was specially given to the lake to make it seem more natural.

There is a very sad story connected with this lake: in 1816 the pregnant wife of famous poet Percy Bisha Shelley drowned there.

Serpentine Gallery

The gallery is located in central London, Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. All the exhibits are works of art of the 20th and 21st centuries. At various times it has hosted exhibitions of Henry Moore, Andy Warhol, Bridget Riley, Jeff Koons and other famous artists, photographers, designers and sculptors.

Pet cemetery.

It’s true: there is a pet cemetery in Hyde Park. It is now, of course, inactive. Only slabs dating back to the 19th century remain there. In 1881 the curator of the park decided to bury on the request of a head of a London family, their beloved dog Charlie. The place was chosen secluded. However such a small memorial did not go unnoticed and soon there were several more tombstones in the cemetery. Representatives of noble families buried their favorites here. In total there are about 300 burials. In 1903, the cemetery was closed.

In Hyde Park you can see some more interesting art objects and sculptures. Admission to one of the most famous Royal Parks is free. The gates open daily at 5 a.m. and close at midnight.

Wellington Arch

Entertainment in London’s Hyde Park

If you like a quiet, measured vacation, then Hyde Park will appeal to you: a beautiful, well-groomed area with unique plants, fountains, art objects, monuments and museums – you can spend more than an hour here.

For those who prefer active rest, too, there is a lot to do: in the park there are biking trails, where you can ride a bike or roller skate. The rental shop at Lake Serpentine offers boats and catamarans for rent and has a special area for bathing. There’s also a riding school in Hyde Park, and you can play tennis, badminton, and picnic outdoors.

Hyde Park during the big holidays (like Christmas) is an entertainment venue. Another real tradition for Londoners is the swim, dubbed “Peter Pan”. Daredevils swim across the lake in winter to compete for the trophy.

Sometimes concerts are organized in Hyde Park: for example, such stars as Madonna, The Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift have performed here.

The history of British Hyde Park.

Several centuries ago this land belonged to Westminster Abbey. In general and the recreation area as such was not there – on the modern territory of the park there was once a forest.

King Henry VIII of England seized this land from the abbey. The king and his court would go there to hunt. The area was closed to the general public. Only in 1637 did King Charles I permit anyone to visit the place, which was gradually transformed into a park and became a favorite place of leisure for Londoners. George II’s wife (Queen Caroline) in 1728 ordered the vast area of the park to be subdivided: thus Lake Serpentine appeared.

Hyde Park acquired its recognizable appearance under George IV. Pedestrian walkways and Wellington’s Arch at the entrance appeared.

In 1851 Queen Victoria ordered the first World’s Fair to be held in Hyde Park. For this event a huge exhibition complex was built in the park, which was called the Crystal Palace. After the exhibition, the building was dismantled and moved elsewhere, but the palace was destroyed by fire and never rebuilt.

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Another landmark event took place in Hyde Park in 2012. As part of the Olympics, triathlon competitions and open water swims were held there.

Hyde Park on Google Panorama

How to get there

Hyde Park is located in west London next to Kensington Gardens. There are frequent buses and you can also get there by tube or cab.


Near the park are Marble Arch, Lancaster Gate, Queensway stations on the red line; Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge stations on the blue line.


Buses 2, 9, 14, 19, 22, 23, 52, 74, 113, 137, 148, 414, 701, 702 run to the Hyde Park Corner stop. To the stop “London Hilton Hotel” runs bus numbers 6, 16, 36. You can get off at the Marble Arch stop and take buses 7, 274 to get there.


You can order a cab in London via Uber mobile app. The trip will be fast, and you won’t waste time on stops.

London’s Talking Statues: where they are and how they work

Talking statues as an interactive way to learn English

1 Municipal General Education Institution “Secondary General Education School № 48” Kopeyskiy Urban District

1 Municipal General Education Institution “Secondary General Education School № 48” Kopeyskiy Urban District

The author of the work was awarded a diploma of the winner of III degree

The text of the work is placed without images and formulas. The full version of the work is available in the tab “Files work” in PDF format

Last year on one of the well-known sites I came across a very interesting article. It was old enough, but nevertheless interested me. In the article it was told that in the streets of England the Talking Statues began to the streets of England are beginning to appear Talking Statues. Talking Statues). This project began to develop in Denmark in 2013. First, several statues appeared in Copenhagen, and later their number grew and began to spread in England and America. The project began to actively gain popularity among tourists and locals.

With the help of the smartphone camera you scan a QR code on the plaque. Suddenly you get a call, you answer the phone. And Sherlock Homes, Ariel or Queen Victoria starts to talk to you.

These statues can definitely help you in learning the language in the country aspect. After all, studying the history of England, you can also improve your skills in listening and communicative speech, as well as significantly increase your vocabulary. We want to consider these statues as one of the interactive ways to learn a language.


Nowadays, people like to use all kinds of modern technology to learn English. There is and is being developed an infinite number of websites, interactive platforms and resources. We believe the Talking Statues will soon be able to take a place of honor in this list as an additional tool for mastering listening and communicative skills in the language being studied.

The goal of this project is to prove that the Talking Statues are one of the modern interactive methods of learning English, and to create our own analogous Talking Statue.

To get acquainted with the history of the Talking Statues.

Explore what information the Talking Statues bring to people and how they are useful to English language learners.

For those who are on the road: how to find a traveling companion and do not get into trouble?

Create their own statue, voice it, and test it as part of a class activity in their classroom.

Research methods: analysis, information gathering, modeling.

Hypothesis: we hypothesize that Talking Statues are a great interactive way to learn English because they introduce live foreign speech, new accents and dialects and help enrich the vocabulary with colloquial vocabulary.

Subject: Talking Statues

Object of study : interactive method of learning English.

1 Theoretical part

History of Talking Statues and the rapid spread of their popularity

In 2013, David Peter Fox in Copenhagen was the first to create talking statues. As part of this project, 10 statues began to speak with the help of modern technology using a smartphone. The statue of Hans Christian Andersen in the Royal Garden in Copenhagen was the first talking statue in the world. Later in 2014, the idea was taken up by the English company “Sing London”. The slogan of their project was “If statues could talk, what stories would they tell?

The creators of this idea realized that for their project to be popular and for people to really use it, it is necessary to choose a means of dissemination. It was rather easy to do in the world of modern technologies, computers and telephones. The authors of the idea started to use a system of QR codes. It was the best solution as most people in our world have phones with internet access and presence of scanning device, to be exact camera. The next step was creation of the statues themselves and later creation of memorial tablets and QR codes. Now there are about 20 such monuments in London.

In the social networks we can enter in search hashtag # talking statues. Going by these tags, we can see a lot of photos with such statues. And all people from this art are in a state of excitement, because this project is really interesting and in some ways even mysterious. You can never know what Peter Pan or Isaac Newton wants to tell you.

What do the statues talk about?

At the beginning of our research work we tried to find the full version of statues’ speeches. Unfortunately it turned out to be not so easy. Because the Talking Statues only work by Quar Codes. We managed to listen to the speeches of Newton, Shakespeare and Peter Pan. We recorded the text version of the speech in English with English subtitles. The next step was to translate the speech from English into Russian. (Appendix 1).

Having analyzed the translation, we realized that all the statues talk about their origins, about thoughts related to significant events from their lives, about the weather, about the place where they are located. Remarkably, the speech of the statues retains the style of their era. It is as if they take us back in time.

So, Isaac Newton, addresses you and gets to know you, from the very first word.

“Look up! I’m the giant towering above you, Isaac Newton.” – “Look up. I’m the giant towering above you, Isaac Newton.”

The statue shows a genuine interest in you.

“But everything you do interests me. And most of the things you’re doing now , like listening to me on your mobile phone.” – “I’m interested in everything you do in general and now , like listening to me now on your cell phone.”

The speech then turns to the law of gravity, which he discovered.

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“Come closer. Now, stand still. What keeps your feet on the ground? – Gravity.” – “Come closer. Now stand still. What keeps your feet on the ground? – Gravity.”

And William Shakespeare sends us to his homeland, to the heart of England, the oldest city in Stratford, which stands on the River Avon. He speaks to his audience from the first lines.

“In my day, I wrote for everyone in London from gong farmers to duchesses, from Winchester geese to good Queen Bess. – “In my day, I wrote for everyone in London, from gong farmers to duchesses, from Winchester geese to good Queen Bess.”

He praises himself, “They know I ‘ve done well .” – “They know I’ve written well.”

Shakespeare tells us about the theater where his creations were shown.

“My place is where Hamlet first held Yorick’s skull , where Romeo amd Julliet shared a secret kiss.” – “My place is where Hamlet first held Yorick’s skull, where Romeo and Juliet shared a secret kiss.”

“This is the site of my most famous Playhouse, the Globe or accidentally burned down by a cannon.”

He describes the places where the performances took place: “Playhouses were mists of the giver. So , we came here to the bank side , gambling dens ale houses.” – The theaters were mists of the giver. So we came here, on Bankside, to the gambling dens and pubs.

Shakespeare tells of the amusements of the time: “There ‘s in my times, packs of savage mastiffs vs sometimes bulls were used.” – “There’s in my times, packs of savage Mastiffs vs sometimes bulls were used.”

Peter Pan is also amazing. The sculpture was created by English sculptor George James Frampton and was installed in Kensington Gardens on April 30th 1912 as a May Day surprise for London children; it was dubbed by British actor Daniel Roche.

The boy speaks for 3 minutes. His speech fully immerses us in his homeland – the island of Netland.

His speech is choppy and choppy: “You really think that looks like me? Oh, I suppose he is pretty good looking. I can’t really tell.” – “You really think she looks like me? Oh, I guess she’s pretty good looking. I don’t dare say.”

PeterPenbach boasts of his unemotional nature: “So, well, the only thing is I know for a fact that no one’s ever…. been quick enough to catch me.” – ” So, well, the only thing I know for a fact is that no one’s ever been fast enough … to catch me.”

He spoke of his imaginary adventures : – “Did you hear how he chopped off the hand of the meanest, baddest, ugliest black sold buccaneer of the sea. Captain Hook. Yep , that’s right.” – “Did you hear how he chopped off the hand of the meanest, baddest, ugliest black solder of the sea? Captain Hook. Yes, that’s me.”

He makes no excuses for himself, but he sees the sense that even in this way, you could be immortalized: – “I know , it’s a burden, you know. Being so brilliant, you should try it sometime. Who knows, they might make a statue of you!” – I know, it’s a burden, you know. Being so brilliant, you should try it sometime. Who knows, maybe they’ll make a statue of you too!”

At the end of the monologue, Peter Pan warns the listener against making mistakes: – Wait! Stop! Listen!

You hear that?

It’s the lost boy. It’s the battle cry. Hook and his stinking pack of pirates are on the prow.” –

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“Wait! Stop! Listen!

Do you hear that?

That’s the lost boy. That’s the battle cry. Hook and his stinking pack of pirates on his tail.”

We were very impressed with this project and decided that we could create our own statue that we could use as an interactive form in our English class.

To do this, we made a statue of the Blue Caterpillar from Lewis Carroll’s book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In this book, the girl Alice found herself in a fairy-tale world, which is rich with extraordinary creatures. Our choice fell exactly on the caterpillar, because we liked its philosophical views on life very much.

Having made the statue, we have started to create the QR code. First, we took the voice of the caterpillar and recorded it. The programmers helped us to program the voice. We have got a QR code and a statue and after combining all this we have got a talking statue.

We have placed the statue in the English classroom and the children were interested in it. We have told them how it works, and almost everyone took out his phone and began to scan the QR code.

We have decided that it will be very interesting to hold a lesson, using the “Talking Statue”. First, we listened to the speech of the caterpillar, and then, using the script (Appendix 2), we brought out new and interesting expressions. (They are highlighted in Appendix 2). The children tried to use the new words when making dialogic and monologic statements.

Also, we did not leave out the history of the creation of the statues described in the theoretical part, which really interested my peers.

The kids wanted to make their own statues and also, one day, to see the original versions of the great statues in London.

Talking Statues is an excellent method of learning English. We reviewed the history of the creation of the Talking Statues, pointed out the linguistic value of this project. We made an analysis of the speech of the statues, having parsed their cognitive-educational peculiarity. We analyzed in detail the utterances of statues of Shakespeare, Newton and Peter Pan. We dare say that the approximate level of language that people who are eager to understand a boy should have should not be lower than B 1. Since we are conducting a “phone call”, we may hear somewhere abbreviations or slang expressions. Sometimes there are very easy words, which is typical for normal, everyday speech. Our characters have a British accent. It is a real pleasure to listen to it.

One of the main tasks of our project was to create our own statue. (Level A2). Since the theme of our project was Talking Statues as an interactive way to learn English, we gave a lesson on a real example (mockup), using our own statue, thus confirming our hypothesis. The students, who had never known about this project and could not even imagine the existence of talking statues, became interested in them. And at the same time they enlarged their vocabulary and practiced their listening skills.

We believe that the goal of our project was reached and the tasks were accomplished.

“Talking Statues” is really a very interesting interactive area, which I can recommend to anyone studying English, because they will take you into the world of history and tell the most fascinating and incredible stories.

https :// www . theguardian . com / artanddesign /2014/ aug /17/ london – statues – find – their – voice

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