Royal Albert Hall
Built in 1871 thanks in part to the proceeds of the 1851 Great Exhibition organised by Prince Albert (Queen Victoria's husband), this...
Royal College of Music Museum
This illustrious museum is closed for redevelopment until 2019.
Resembling an unprepossessing 1930s tearoom in the midst of leafy Kensington Gardens, this is one of London’s most important...
Royal Albert Hall
This splendid Victorian concert hall hosts classical-music, rock and other performances, but is most famously the venue for the...
Ognisko has been a stalwart of the Polish community in London since 1940 (it's part of the Polish Hearth Club). The grand dining room is...
Kensington Gardens · interesting places nearby
Albert Memorial information
This splendid Victorian confection on the southern edge of Kensington Gardens is as ostentatious as the subject. Queen Victoria’s German husband Albert (1819–61), was purportedly humble. Albert explicitly insisted he did not want a monument; ignoring the good prince’s wishes, the Lord Mayor instructed George Gilbert Scott to build the 53m-high, gaudy Gothic memorial in 1872.
An eye-opening blend of mosaic, gold leaf, marble and Victorian bombast, the renovated monument is topped with a crucifix. The 4.25m-tall gilded statue of the prince, surrounded by 187 figures representing the continents (Asia, Europe, Africa and America), the arts, industry and science, was erected in 1876. The statue was painted black for 80 years, originally – some say – to disguise it from WWI Zeppelins (nonetheless, the memorial was selected by German bombers during WWII as a landmark). To step beyond the railings for a close-up of the 64m-long Frieze of Parnassus along the base, join one of the 45-minute tours.