The Albert Memorial is located in Hyde Park
, and was erected in memory of Prince Albert
by Queen Victoria
. It is 45 meters high, heavily ornamented, complex and of immense scale. Designed by the architect George Gilbert Scott
, who was inspired by medieval shrines and by the medieval Eleanor Crosse
s built by King Edward I
in memory of Queen Eleanor
The Memorial has a large bronze gilded statue of Albert seated under a stone canopy and surrounded by a frieze with 169 carved figures. Among them the writers Dante, Homer, Shakespeare, Goethe, and Schiller. Also part of the memorial are separate groups of statues representing, the Continents, (Asia, America, Europe, and Africa), and the Industrial Arts, (Manufacture, Commerce, Engineering, and Agriculture).
The Albert Memorial opened to the public in 1872, although the statue of Albert was not installed until 1875. The memorial was formally completed in 1876 with it’s unveiling by Queen Victoria.
The sculptor chosen to create the statue of Prince Albert was Carlo Marochetti. Marochetti completed two designs for statues of Albert, neither of which was approved and was working on a third when he died.
J. H. Foley was selected to replace him, and he completed an approved statue, made of many separate castings, but he also died before they could be assembled. Foley’s assistant Thomas Brock, and a student of Foley's, G. F. Teniswood, completed the statue.
H. H. Armstead was the head sculptor in charge of the rest of the statuary about the memorial; he created the Sciences, and along with J. Birnie Philip did the 169 figure frieze. Philip also did the angels. The eight Virtues were by J. F. Redfern.
The four Continents and the four Industries, were done eight eminent sculptors of the time. They are:
Europe by P.Macdowell
America by John Bell
Asia by J. H. Foley
Africa by W. Theed
Agriculture by W. Calder Marshall
Commerce by Thomas Thornycroft
Engineering by J. Lawlor
Manufacturing by J. Weekes
The Albert Memorial was restored 2000.