29/05/2002

Albert Clock restored to former glory

Belfast City Council has completed a major restoration programme on one of the City’s most distinctive landmarks, the Albert Memorial Clock.

The £2.2 million scheme, which took more than two and a half years to complete, involved stabilization of the 132-year old monument’s famous lean, and restoration of the tower’s stonework.

Viewing the completed restoration programme for the first time today Councillor Chris McGimpsey, Chairman of Belfast City Council’s Policy and Resources Committee, said: “The restoration, to its full glory, of this landmark is a tangible reminder of the creativity and ingenuity of the Belfast people, both of the past and of today, is a clear demonstration of not only Belfast City Council’s commitment to preserving and sustaining its built heritage but also the vibrant and vital role which history – living history – has to play in the future development of the City of Belfast.”

The Albert Memorial restoration project was completed at the end of April. Belfast City Council, as owner of the memorial, contributed £1.2 million to the project, with a further £1 million coming from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Further contributions were made by the Department of the Environment Heritage Service (£100,000) and Laganside (£50,000).

Following the death of Prince Albert, The Prince Consort, in 1862, the then Belfast Corporation organised a competition to design a memorial clock tower – a competition which was won by local architect, William J Barre, who also designed the Ulster Hall.

The construction cost of £2,500 was raised by public subscription. Work started on the Albert Memorial Clock started in 1865 and finished, a year behind schedule, in 1870.

(AMcE)

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