In our modern times, s seeing skyscrapers and buildings reaching up to the sky is perfectly normal. They became ordinary structures at this time. On the other hand, in the past, it was a magnificent phenomenon. Towers were so captivating although they were found in so many countries. This 360-Degree video is featuring an amazing scenery of The Albert Memorial Clock. It is a clock tower in Northern Ireland- in Queen’s Square in Belfast in particular. This tower has been around since the 19th century, becoming a remarkable landmark of the city. It may look a bit similar to the popular clock of Big Ben, but it has a whole different history.


History of the Albert Memorial Clock

In fact, it is commonly known as the Albert Clock. The tower came into being thanks to a competition that took place in 1865. That competition was for designing a memorial to Prince Albert- the late Prince Consort of Queen Victoria. W. J. Barre was the winner of that competition; he also happened to design the Belfast’s Ulster Hall earlier. Although winning the first place in the competition, Barre did not receive his award. Instead, those who came in second place secretly tool the prize until a public uproar made its way to the matter. Afterward, Barre eventually received his award and the construction began. The completion of the Albert Clock has finally taken place in 1869.


The Beginning of the Construction

Fitzpatrick Brothers Builders were the ones to start the construction of Albert Clock back in 1865. The style of the clock is Gothic and mixing between the French and Italian. Albert Clock, in fact, stands on wooden piles on a land around the River Farset. Above and beyond, the base of the tower displays floating ramparts along with lions. On the western side of the tower, you can find a statue of the Prince standing. SF Lynn was the designer who brought this sculpture into being. Francis Moore of High Street was the one who built the clock built into the tower.


Albert Clock through the Years

When the tower first erected, it had a notorious reputation for being frequently visited by prostitutes. That’s because the docks were close to the clock, so prostitutes had way with the sailors who visited the area. However, that did not last to the modern times due to the developments that took place. The surrounding Queen’s Square, as well as Custom’s House Square, were turned into modern public spaces. This area is now full of fountains, sculptures, and trees.

However, things have taken a spiral downward back in 1992. In January 1992, a bomb explosion by a Provisional Irish Republican Army damaged the clock. Besides, heavy passing traffic and other elements worsened the damage. However, a restoration project repaired the damage and it was back to being normal in 2002. The restoration made the wooden bases and the foundation much stronger. They even replaced the decaying parts, cleaning the entire tower, making it better than it was.



Albert Clock - 360 Degree Video - Albert Memorial Clock Belfast - Northern Ireland - Built in 1869
Albert Clock - 360 Degree Video - Albert Memorial Clock Belfast - Northern Ireland - Built in 1869

Inaugurated in 2004, the Custom House Square is a public open space located to the west of the Custom House in Belfast. The area dates back to the 1700s when it was utilized as the Salthouse Dock and later on as the Lime Kiln Dock ( docks were backfilled in 1846 to create Albert Square and Queen’s Square and the Custom House was built from 1854 to 1857, followed by the Albert Memorial Clock between 1865 and 1870. By the late 20th century the region had become dominated by car parking areas, road infrastructure and bus traffic. The Albert Memorial Clock - known locally as the Albert Clock was built in 1869 and cost £2,500 - it was built by Fitzpatrick brothers builders and is 113 feet tall. Since it was built on wooden piles on reclaimed land from the Farset River - the top of the tower leans around 4 feet off centre. You can see from the pictures in this article - the clock tower features flying buttresses with lions - with a statue of Prince Albert in robes of a Knight of the Garter on one side. The clock itself was made by Francis Moore of High Street Belfast.


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