SJ8398 : Albert Square, Manchester
near to Manchester, Great Britain
Albert Square, Manchester
Albert Square is a public square in the centre of Manchester dominated by Manchester Town Hall. The square contains a number of monuments and statues, the largest of which is the Albert Memorial, a monument to Prince Albert, Prince consort of Queen Victoria. The square, named after the Prince, was laid out to provide a space for this memorial in 1863–67. Work on the town hall began in 1868 and was completed in 1877.
The area in which the square is situated was once derelict land and an area of dense housing near the Town Yard and the River Tib. The square's creation arose out of a project by Manchester Corporation's Monuments Committee to erect a memorial to Prince Albert who had died of typhoid in 1861. Clearing the site began in 1864, and required the demolition of over 100 buildings, including the Engraver's Arms pub, a coffee roasting works, a smithy, a coal yard and various warehouses. The project was encouraged by the visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales to open the Albert Monument in 1869.
It was decided to construct a new town hall for Manchester, as the old building in King Street had become too small. Following an architectural competition, Gothic designs for a building with a high bell tower by Sir Alfred Waterhouse were selected, and the Town Hall was begun in 1868 and completed in 1877.
In April 1972, the area around Albert Square was designated a conservation area, and in 1981 to include the neighbouring, newly created Lincoln Square. (The creation of Lincoln Square completed a "processional way" from the Law Courts through Spinningfields and Lincoln Square to the Town Hall.)
The centre of Albert Square was originally laid out in the form of a traffic circle and a group of bus stops occupied the western part. In 1987 the square was redesigned and the eastern side in front of the town hall was pedestrianised. The square was laid with fan-shaped granite setts, York stone paving and 'heritage'-style cast-iron street furniture.
Albert Square's largest monument is the Albert Memorial which is Grade I listed. It features a marble statue of Albert standing on a plinth and facing west, designed by Matthew Noble (1862–1867). The figure is placed within a large Medieval-style ciborium which was designed by the architect Thomas Worthington. Noble was commissioned by the then mayor, Thomas Goadsby, to sculpt the Prince's likeness, and the designs were personally approved by Queen Victoria. The Memorial is topped with an ornate spire, and on each side a crocketed gable with canopied pinnacles on colonettes. Within the canopies stand symbolic figures representing art, commerce, science and agriculture. Below these stand secondary figures representing particular disciplines:
The Four Arts: painting, architecture, music, sculpture
Commerce: the Four Continents
The Four Sciences: chemistry, astronomy, mechanics, mathematics
Agriculture: the Four Seasons
The coloured sett paving which was laid around the Memorial in 1987 depicts floral representations of the Four Home Nations of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
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- Grid Square
- SJ8398, 1429 images (more nearby)
- Gerald England (find more nearby)
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- Date Taken
- Wednesday, 13 June, 2012 (more nearby)
- Thursday, 14 June, 2012
- Geographical Context
- Subject Location
OSGB36: SJ 8381 9806 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:28.7407N 2:14.7248W
- Photographer Location
- OSGB36: SJ 8383 9805
- View Direction
- West-northwest (about 292 degrees)
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