Great Exhibition and Prince Albert

Erection date: 10/6/1863


{Below cornice:}
Let all the nations be gathered together and let the people be assembled. Isaiah 43.9. I will remember the works of the Lord, Surely I will remember the wonders of old. Psalms 77.2.

{Marble plaque on south façade:}
Names of Her Majesty's Commissioners
His Royal Highness the Prince Consort - President

{column on left:}
Duke of Buccleuch
Earl of Derby
Earl of Rosse
Earl Granville
Earl of Ellesmere
Lord Overstone
Lord John Russell
Sir Robert Peel
Henry Labouchere
W E Gladstone
Sir Rd Westmacott
Sir Chas Lyell
Sir Chas Eastlake

{column on right:}
Sir William Cubitt
Sir Charles Barry
Thomas Baring
Thomas Bazley
Richard Cobden
Thomas F Gison
John Gott
William Hopkins
Philip Pusey
John Shepherd
Robert Stephenson
William Thompson

J Scott Russell
Sir Stafford H Northcote
Edgar A Bowring

Special Commissioners:
Lyon Playfair
J A Lloyd

Executive Committee:
{column on left:}
Sir William Reid
Henry Cole
G Wentworth Dilke

{column on right:}
Francis Fuller
George Drew
M Digby Wyatt, sec.

{Below this plaque and lower down:}

Inaugurated by HRH The Prince of Wales, June 10th 1863

{Much lower down:}

Hoc monvmentvm et insignissimvm principem albertvm commemorans et spectacvlvm vniversale qvod ispe anno MDCCCLI faciendvm cvravit in pvlcherrimis illis hortis eivs anno MDCCLXIII positvm est qvibvs dirvtis hic circa annvm MDCCCXCI itervm est erctvm tvm refectvm renovatvm repartvm a celsitvdine sva regia dvce edinbvrgensi consilii regalis de spectacvlo albertensi praeside inavgvratvm est mense maio MMI.

{Marble plaque on west façade:}
Opened by Her Majesty Queen Victoria, May 1st 1851.
Closed October 15th 1851
Number of visitors: 6,039,195
Total Receipts: £522,179
Total Expenditure: £335,742
Number of exhibitors: 13,937
viz. British - 7381, Foreign - 6556
Size of building: 1848 feet by 456 feet
Architect - Sir Joseph Paxton
Contractors - Fox and Henderson

{Marble plaque on north façade:}

Erected by public subscription originally intended only to commemorate The International Exhibition of 1851 now dedicated to the memory of the great author of that undertaking The Good Prince to whose far-seeing and comprehensive philanthropy its first conception was due and to whose clear judgment and untiring exertions in directing its execution the world is indebted for its unprecedented success.

Albert Francis Augustus Charles Emanuel, The Prince Consort, born August 26, 1819, died December 14, 1861.
"He was a man, take him for all in all, we shall not look upon his like again"

Sculptor: Joseph Durham

Executive committee:
{column on left:}
Thos Challis, Alderman, Lord Mayor of London 1851
Francis Bennoch
Brandreth Gibbs

{column on right:}
Peter Graham
S Cater Hall
George Godwin, Honorary Secretary

{Marble plaque on east façade:}
Exhibiting Countries

{column on left:}
The United Kingdom
Australia South
British Guiana
Cape of Good Hope
Channel Islands
Falkland Islands

{column on right:}
Ionian Islands
New Brunswick
New South Wales
New Zealand
Nova Scotia
St. Helena
St. Kitts
St. Vincent
Van Dieman's Land

{column on left:}
Africa West
Gold Coast
The Hanse Towns
Mecklenburgh Schwerin
Mecklenburgh Strelitz

{column on right:}
New Grenada
St. Domingo
Society Islands
United States
The Zolliverein

Designed by Joseph Durham with modifications by Sydney Smirke. Inaugurated by the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII.

Sharp-eyed Charles Watson has pointed out what looks like a stonemason's error. The "wonders of old" quote comes from Psalms 77:11 not 77:2. Seems someone converted what they thought was a Roman II into a 2. Of course this could have been whoever prepared the text that the stonemason was copying - we'll never know.

Site: Great Exhibition and Prince Albert (1 memorial)

SW7, Kensington Gore

This monument is just south of the Albert Hall. This whole area was at one time nicknamed Albertopolis as it was bought out of the profits of the Great Exhibition for which Prince Albert was the driving force. Once purchased the area was filled with cultural and educational buildings, many of which remain. e.g. Imperial College, Natural History Museum, Royal Albert Hall, Royal College of Music, etc.

The original idea was to erect a monument to Prince Albert in Hyde Park on the site of the Great Exhibition. A committee was formed. Albert did not want such a statue and over time the idea changed to be a monument to the Great Exhibition with a figure of, first Britannia, and then Queen Victoria. Also the site for the memorial was changed to be in the show gardens of the Royal Horticultural Society, where the Prince Consort Road now runs. This all dragged on (look at the size of the committee!) and then, 10 years after the Exhibition had closed, Albert died. Within a few days the Queen had requested that his statue replace hers on the monument.

Erected in the RHS gardens in 1863, the monument was moved to its present site in 1891-3 when the gardens were built over and the Prince Consort Road created.

More details at British History On-line.

This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
Great Exhibition and Prince Albert

Subjects commemorated i

Great Exhibition

From the V&A website: "The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of a...

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Prince Albert

Born Schloss Rosenau, Coburg, Germany, as Albert Francis Augustus Charles Ema...

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Thomas Baring

Banker and politician, grandson of the bank founder Sir Francis. Born Lee, ne...

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Sir Charles Barry

Born in London. Architect of the Houses of Parliament, after the 1834 fire. O...

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Sir Thomas Bazley

One of the Commissioners for the Great Exhibition, 1851. First baronet. Manu...

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Show all 41

This section lists the subjects who helped to create/erect the memorial on this page:
Great Exhibition and Prince Albert

Created by i

Francis Bennoch

On the Executive Committee for the 1851 Great Exhibition Memorial.

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Thomas Challis

Alderman, Lord Mayor of London 1851, chair of the Executive Committee for th...

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Joseph Durham (sculptor)

Sculptor.  Born London.  Died London.

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King Edward VII

Reigned: 1901 - 1910. Born and died at Buckingham Palace. Victoria's eldest s...

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Brandreth Gibbs

On the Executive Committee for the 1851 Great Exhibition Memorial.

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Show all 8

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