Royal Albert Hall

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The Royal Albert Hall was built to fulfil the vision of Prince Albert (Queen Victoria's consort) of a 'Central Hall' that would be used to promote understanding and appreciation of the Arts and Sciences and would stand at the heart of the South Kensington estate, surrounded by museums and places of learning.


The Hall is a Grade I Listed building; and has been in continuous use since it was opened in March 1871. It was always conceived as a multipurpose building to host not only concerts of music but exhibitions, public meetings, scientific conversations and award ceremonies. It is a registered charity held in trust for the nation but is financially self sufficient: it receives no funding from central or local government.

The Structure of the building

The heart of the Hall is the vast internal auditorium 185 feet wide by 219 feet long covered by a glazed dome constructed of wrought iron girders which, at the time, was the largest structure of its kind in the world.

Other notable features include the great Henry Willis Organ also, at the time, the largest in the world and, in tribute to its power and volume, described by a contemporary as 'The Voice of Jupiter'. Between 1921 – 1933 it was substantially modified and enlarged by the Durham-based organ firm of Harrisons and it was comprehensively restored by the London firm, Manders, between 2003 – 2004.

The distinctive exterior of the Hall, inspired by the architecture of Northern Italy, was built from some 6 million red bricks and eighty thousand blocks of decorative terracotta.  Surmounting the exterior walls and above the balustraded smoking gallery, runs a continuous 800 foot long terracotta frieze composed of allegorical groups of figures engaged in  a range of artistic endeavours, crafts, scientific and other cultural pursuits.

How to get here

By Tube - South Kensington (District, Circle and Piccadilly Lines) and High Street Kensington (District and Circle Lines) are the closest Underground stations to the Hall. Walking to the Hall takes approximately 10 minutes from both stations.

By Bus

9 - Aldwych to Hammersmith, stopping on Kensington Gore outside the Hall
10 - King's Cross Station to Hammersmith, stopping on Kensington Gore outside the Hall
52 - Victoria to Willesden stopping on Kensington Gore outside the Hall
70 - Acton to South Kensington, stopping on Queen's Gate, 2 minutes walk from the Hall
360 - Elephant & Castle to the Hall, stopping on Prince Consort Road, 1 minute walk from the Hall
452 - Wandsworth Road Station to Kensal Rise stopping on Kensington Gore outside the Hall

By Rail - London Victoria is the nearest National Rail train station.

Cycling - There are a number of public bicycle racks located towards the South side of the building. Bicycles are left on these racks at your own risk and the Royal Albert Hall cannot take responsibility for any loss or damage. There are also several Barclays Cycle Hire docking stations within walking distance of the Hall. The closest one is on Kensington Gore outside the Royal College of Art.