The Royal Albert Hall is a concert venue in Kensington probably most well known as the venue for the Proms concerts. Originally it was to be called Central Hall, part of Prince Albert’s vision after the success of the 1851 Great Exhibition, but when he died in 1861 it was renamed in his honour.
The hall was designed by Frances Fowke and Henry Scott, influenced by Roman amphitheatres and built in the Italianate style of red brick with a mosaic frieze encircling the building which depicts the Triumph of the Arts and Sciences along with historical and religious quotations. Tours of the interior are available though I didn’t have time for that this trip.
The driving force behind the Hall was Henry Cole who worked with Prince Albert on the Great Exhibition and who ensured that it was built using private rather than public money – this continues today as the Hall is a registered charity that receives no government funding.
It’s a lovely building and well worth a look. One other feature of interest is the chimney that at first glance doesn’t appear to be associated with the Hall at all. When it was built the South Entrance was connected to a conservatory. The boilers to the conservatory and the Hall were connected to the conservatory chimney and when the conservatory was demolished in 1884 the present chimney, which still sits above the boilers used to heat the Hall, was built.
You can see more photos here.