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Preserving our nations heritage

Preserving our nations heritage

Metalock Process Enables Successful Restoration Of London’s Albert Memorial

The Albert Memorial, directly north of the Royal Albert Hall in Kensington Gardens, London, was commissioned by Queen Victoria in memory of her beloved husband Prince Albert, who died in 1861. Designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in the Gothic Revival style, it takes the form of an ornate canopy or pavilion 176 feet (54 m) tall, in the style of a Gothic ciborium over the high altar of a church, sheltering a statue of the prince facing south.

It took over ten years to complete, the £120,000 cost (the equivalent of about £10,000,000 in 2010) met by public subscription. The memorial was opened in July 1872 by Queen Victoria, with the statue of Albert ceremonially "seated" in 1876. It has been Grade I listed since 1970.

Metalock UK involved in the successful restoration of the Albert Memorial

The Albert Memorial in London was restored to its former glory by English Heritage.

The memorial is constructed from elaborate cast iron sections, up to 75mmthick, clad in lead and decorated with bronze and mosaics. There is also wrought iron, early mild steel, copper and gold. The lead in places is 20mm thick.

In the original design there was no provision for the lead to expand, and being constrained it buckled in hot weather. Eventually, the buckled areas cracked and split and let water into the cast iron core leading to corrosion over the years.

Corrosion jacked up the lead even more which increased the cracking. Parts of the cast iron core were severely corroded and in some areas there were cracks. These might have been the result of settlement over the years.

Due to these problems, English Heritage was given the task of restoring the edifice in the late eighties and giving it a 60 - year life. After many delays, the project was started in 1994 and completed in 1998.

The memorial was systematically dismantled and the degree of necessary repair to individual elements and sub - assemblies assessed. The main damaged cast iron sections would be cut out by Metalock and replacement sections were cast and fitted back on to the original position to restore the overall monument.

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