Despite visiting Kensington Palace and the gardens before I’d somehow never managed to make it over to the Albert Memorial so I decided to rectify that on my most recent visit to London. Directly opposite the Royal Albert Hall it was erected in memory of Prince Albert, husband to Queen Victoria, who died in 1861 aged just 42; Victoria would spend the rest of her long life in mourning.
Designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott (whose other works include the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) it was completed in 1876 at a cost of what would be £10 million today, paid for by public subscription. Built in the Gothic Revival style it is a large canopy like that over a high alter of a church covering a statue of Prince Albert. At 54 metres tall the memorial was actually far larger than I’d been expecting. In his hand the Prince is holding a catalogue to the Great Exhibition, probably one of his most important contributions to the Victorian era.
The four corners of the central area have large sculptures depicting the continents of Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe as well as representations of the arts and sciences which Victorians valued such as engineering and manufacturing as well as painters and sculptors. There are 160 marble figures all together.
There is a fence around the memorial so you can’t get too close, but it’s not a problem for taking photos.
I was most impressed by the mosaic detailing above the Prince’s statue, in fact the details everywhere are very impressive.
You can find more photos here.