|ROYAL ALBERT HALL, 1871.|
As I have previously mentioned, part of the reason for my annual trip to Ireland is to conduct research for my history work, as well as family history research. For the last two years, part of what I am working on for my history work entails that I also use the facilities of the National Archives UK in Kew, London. This is a first class facility with plenty of helpful staff, and a wonderfully quiet study area in which you only hear the sounds of old paper and books being shifted around. Blissful!
After spending days combing through box after box of documents, I gave myself a much needed couple of hours off. I fled the archives, dropped my briefcase at the hotel, and headed into central London on the tube. I disembarked at South Kensington Station with the purpose of having a look around the area which was once widely known as 'Albertopolis'.
What is Albertopolis?
In the South Kensington area of London, following the fabulous success of the Great Exhibition of 1851, Prince Albert, prince consort to Queen Victoria, had the brilliance of forethought to create a metropolis of art, science and culture. Albert was worried that the British Empire was lagging behind the rest of the world, and so wanted to create schools for learning, as well as archives and museums, which would celebrate all the best of the British Empire, and mark Britain as the world leader in the areas of art, science, and culture. After Albert's death in 1861, Queen Victoria continued to add to this area, which had become colloquially known as 'Albertopolis'. Laying the cornerstone at what was to be named the Central Hall of Arts and Sciences, Queen Victoria officially christened it Royal Albert Hall. In effect Victoria ensured that the area serves as a national memorial to the memory of her husband.
Here's a slideshow I created and uploaded to YouTube, featuring some of what I came across on my journey through Albertopolis on that windy afternoon.
For more information visit: Albertopolis