Published on : Monday, January 16, 2017
Royal Albert Hall of Arts and Sciences, or popularly known as Royal Albert Hall, is one of Britain’s principal concert halls and major landmarks. It is located south of the Albert Memorial and north of the Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine.
Designated a memorial to Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria, the immense oval structure was built in 1867–71. It was Sir George Gilbert Scott who made the architectural plans in the early 1860s; however its building was never begun because of the lack of funding. Then chairman of the Society of Arts, Sir Henry Cole, arranged financing for the structure.
Before the dome was placed on top of the hall, it was completely assembled in Manchester to be sure it fit together properly before being dismantled and taken to London. Unfortunately, the hall was long notorious for its poor acoustics—especially its echo. Much later in 1960s, modifications were made when popular and classical music concerts, balls, sports events were held.
After the Royal Albert Hall was completed, in 1872, plans were developed to construct a pneumatic railway which will be totally be dedicated for carrying the visitors from the South Kensington Tube to the RAH and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Till date, RAH is a Grade I listed building and has been in continuous use since 1871.
The first concert was held on 1 May 1871 on Arthur Sullivan’s On Shore and Sea. The BBC Promenade Concerts (“The Proms”) is the eight week summer season which is perhaps the most famous music concerts that has been in the Hall since 1942.
At a glance
To get to the hall, the closest London Underground stations are Knightsbridge (Piccadilly line) and South Kensington. Before visiting, it is advisable to book the tickets online. Throughout the year, there are exhibitions which run at the Royal Albert Hall. It is free for those who are attending a performance, or free to the general public on open days.
For those wanting to visit the Hall, not as an audience spectator but as a tourist, the Hall is open for tours and exhibitions throughout the year. There are also opportunities for guided tours for which you can book earlier to your visit. The Royal Albert Hall is one of the most prestigious high-profile musical venues of Britain and is a must-visit for music lovers coming to London.