Date Visited

2022


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England

London

Albert Memorial





 

Summary

Built to commemorate Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria who died of typhoid in 1861. The Albert Memorial is located in Kensington Gardens and takes the form of a Gothic ciborium standing  176 feet (54 metres) tall. Containing a bronze statue of Prince Albert it displays a number of statues related to the arts and commerce. 

 

The Albert Memorial was commissioned by Queen Victoria following the death of her husband Prince Albert who died of typhoid  in 1861. It was designed in the Gothic Revival style by Sir George Gilbert Scott and was opened in July 1872 by Queen Victoria having taken ten years to complete at a cost of £120,000, which was paid for by public subscription.

Located in Kensington Gardens it takes the form of an ornate pavilion 176 feet (54 metres) tall with a statue of Prince Albert seated facing south towards the Royal Albert Hall.


 


The memorial takes the form of a Gothic ciborium, a ciborium being a canopy or covering supported by columns found over the high altar of a church. Below this is a bronze statue of Prince Albert, dressed in the robes of a Knight of the Garter holding a catalogue of the Great Exhibition, which was held in 1851 in Hyde Park and which Albert helped to organise. The commission for the design of the statue of the prince was given to Baron Carlo Marochetti, one of Queen Victoria’s favourite sculptors, however, his initial design was rejected by the Queen, and he died before being able to produce an additional design. It therefore fell to John Henry Foley to produce a design which was accepted by the Queen. 


 


Surrounding the statue of Prince Albert is the Frieze of Parnassus which is named after the resting place of the Greek muses.  The frieze depicts 169 sculptures of architects, painters, sculptors, poets and composers. These are grouped so that the architects are place on the north side, painters on the east, and the musicians and poets on the south, and sculptors on the west side. These were carved by Henry Hugh Armstead who did the figures on the east and south side and John Birnie Philip who carved the west and north side figures.

 

 

At each of the corners of the central and outer areas are groups of statues, the central ones represent agriculture, commerce engineering and manufacturing.

The groups in the outer area represent the four continents of Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe.  These groups contain a number of figures and a large animal.  Africa contains a camel, the Americas a bison, Asia is represented by an elephant and Europe is represented by a bull.













  
















Further up the monument are additional statues in gilded bronze representing angels and virtues.



 


 


 


 

              All  Photographs taken by and copyright of Ron Gatepain

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