Trafalgar Square, in the centre of London, commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar (1805). It was designed by Sir Charles Barry and was completed in 1845. The square was cleared in the 1820s as part of the Charing Cross improvement scheme. At the centre of the square is Nelson's Column, guarded by four lions.
The National Gallery, founded in 1824 houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. It forms one of the sides of Trafalgar Square. It came into being when the British government bought 38 paintings from the heirs of the insurance broker and patron of the arts John Julius Angerstein. The design of the present building, the third to house the National Gallery, was started by William Wilkins in 1832. The building was completed in 1838.