There are plenty of famous landmarks and iconic buildings spread across London, from stadiums to skyscrapers, but none have the same rich history that the Royal Albert Hall has.
History hunters, culture seekers and music lovers head to the M by Montcalm Shoreditch London Tech City every week to see places like the Royal Albert Hall. If you’re planning a trip to the iconic venue during your time at the Brewery Hotel Chiswell Street, this historic guide will tell you a little more about it and get you in the mood.
The history the Royal Albert Hall stretches back to the time of the longest reigning female monarch. The official opening ceremony took place in 1871 when Queen Victoria first opened the grand doors. The Italianate architectural style was a popular design style of the era and was adopted by the chief architects of the project. Captain Francis Fowke and Major-General Henry Y.D. Scott were the brains behind the design.
It was the Great Exhibition which led to the building of the Royal Albert Hall. In 1851, this event was a spectacle like never before and attracted kings, queens and noble figures from around the country. In the years that followed, support for the Great Exhibition died down and so a concept was put forward to reinvigorate enthusiasm by creating a venue to serve as a hub of entertainment and artistic expression. This was the idea responsible for the institution we know today.
Since the opening of the Royal Albert Hall, it has become a place of pilgrimage for performers from all over the world. Through the 20th century, numerous schools, organisations and academies have been set up in conjunction with the famous venue. Elsie Fogerty set up the School of Speech and Drama in 1901 which was one of the most prestigious London drama institutions of its time. The Royal Albert Hall has also helped to push some of the biggest social movements in modern history by hosting rallies and public gatherings.
At the turn of the 20th century, the Royal Albert Hall underwent a series of huge restoration projects in order to restore the ageing fixtures and update the style, bringing it into the new millennium. The project included the addition of several new features and allowed for the expansion of the main auditorium. Other changes included the addition of a restaurant and a modern box office which was part of the new south porch design.
Today the Royal Albert Hall remains one of the most popular venues in London. Actors, singers, dancers and performers from all around the globe play to sell-out crowds every week. Also, the hall has served as the official host of the annual BBC Proms since 1942. Every year, the event attracts thousands of tourists and celebrities to enjoy incredible performances and soak in the rich history and warm atmosphere of one of London’s most beautiful buildings.