When the English decided to build a memorial to Lord Nelson, they held a competition for designs. The deadline for proposals was January 31, 1839. The plan chosen involved an enormous Corinthian column with a statue of Nelson on the top, and the whole affair flanked with four lions. The government donated land across from the National Gallery in London for the project, a space which is now famous and called Trafalgar Square.
The lion finally realized was about 20 feet long, and 11 feet tall. There are four of them. A story exists that if Big Ben ever strikes thirteen times, the bronze beasts will come alive.