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In our third podcast, we explore Marble Arch, from its earliest times to the present day and into the future.


For decades, one of London’s loveliest historic monuments has been marooned on a roundabout at the western end of Oxford Street, severed from the park it once formed an entrance to and disconnected from its regal past. 

But now big plans are afoot to restore the Marble Arch to its former glory, make it the focal point of a tranquil new public space and tackle some of the traffic flow that blights it.

Check out our rundown of upcoming events

In this episode of The London Society’s documentary podcast series London Explained, journalist Dave Hill tells the story of the arch and the area it stands in. This was once a grim location for public executions but later a famous meeting point for the expression of free speech. Drawing on interviews with key figures behind the plans – including Simon Loomes from the Portman Estate and Lucy Musgrave and Tess McCann of urban design firm Publica – and a wealth of archive material, the podcast illuminates the complex challenges the plans address and what is needed to put them into effect for the benefit of London as a whole.

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London Explained can be found on all the usual podcast platforms, including Spotify

This series was set-up to help explain what gives particular areas in London their identity and what is likely to happen to them in the future, as the capital inevitably changes. 

The preceding episodes in the series looked at Earls Court and the Fleet Street Quarter.

The podcast is researched, written and presented by Dave Hill, editor and publisher of the website, and produced by Andrew McGibbon for Curtains for Radio Ltd. It was supported financially by The Portman Estate with The London Society retaining full editorial control.