London’s Albertopolis

With the proceeds from the Great Exhibition in 1851, Albert, Prince Consort to Queen Victoria, guided the Royal Commission to purchase land in South Kensington on which were to be built the great cultural and educational establishments of Victorian London. As a result, in an area between the Cromwell Road and Kensington Gore Imperial College London, the Natural History Museum, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Colleges of Art and Music, the Royal Geographical Society, Science Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum can all be found in close proximity. Satirists of the day named the area ‘Albertopolis’ and for a time the name stuck. It fell out of use until architectural historians picked it up again in the 1960s as plans began to develop to knock down buildings to extend Imperial College. The area remains an architecturally distinctive part of the capital attracting visitors from around the world at all times of the year.

Last week I was in South Kensington on a two day course and after finishing for the day I dashed to the Natural History Museum for the briefest of visits to its main hall and a quick and mildly expensive trawl through the bookshop. With the museum being cleared of visitors I was able to take a few shots of the great cathedral to the natural world, its intricate stonework populated with carved specimens that bring the walls almost to life.

Later as darkness fell, a short walk took me to Kensington Gore and the illuminated majesty of the Royal Albert Hall hosting the final week of Summer BBC Proms Concerts. Sad to say a lack of spare batteries restricted my photographic experiments.


  1. Hi, I've just been looking through your blog and enjoying it, particularly the Nature posts. I loved the Hare family on a previous post. I also love your very creative writing, you paint some wonderful pictures. The post with you trying to attract a Kingfisher was so entertaining, I have been trying to 'capture' one all year!

    I also get the impression you are a Bob Dylan fan, we are listening to his CDs as I type šŸ˜‰

  2. Thankyou for your lovely comment. I'm so glad the words are coming across ok. You can't beat a bit of Mr Zimmerman. Nor Billy Bragg who is in my opinion the finest singer/songwriter of the punk and post punk generation.

  3. …an incredibly beautiful building, I love all the details. Those gargoyles climbing up the side are fun!

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