The Speke Monument is a red granite statue dedicated to John Hanning Speke - the first European to discover Lake Victoria and lead expeditions to locate the source of the Nile.
It is located near the junction of Lancaster Walk and Budges Walk in Kensington Gardens.
The Speke Monument was designed by Philip Hardwick, designer of the original Euston Railway Station, and installed in 1866. It was paid for by public subscription and sponsored by the President of the Royal Geographical Society, which had paid for two of Speke's expeditions.
About John Hanning Speke
John Hanning Speke was the first European to discover the source of the Nile. He died mysteriously in 1864.
Speke was shot by his own gun the day before he was due to take part in a debate at the Royal Geographical Society about the source of the River Nile. Speke claimed the source was the Rippon Falls, an outflow from Lake Victoria in east Africa. He would have been opposed in the debate by Sir Richard Burton, another explorer, who argued that Speke didn't have conclusive evidence for his claim. Some people thought Speke died accidentally; others that it was suicide.
Speke's claim eventually proved to be correct and the Royal Geographical Society said he had solved "the problem of all ages".