After fifty years of neglect, the obelisk that was erected in Swanage to commemorate the life of Prince Albert, husband to Queen Victoria, has been given permission to be rebuilt in Prince Albert Gardens.
It will be positioned in a commanding position overlooking Swanage Bay, close to Peveril Point where the prince is said to have disembarked from the royal yacht in the 1850’s.
Restore the monument to its full glory
This is the culmination of many attempts to restore the monument to its full glory, since it was dismantled and removed.
Originally the Albert Memorial, believed to be the first in the country to be built after his untimely death at the age of 42 in 1861, was located in the High Street, next to where the British Legion is now.
The Purbeck stone column was taken down in 1971 to make way for a new row of houses.
The re-erection never happened
At the time, the builder agreed to move it to a new site and the memorial was sent first to a council yard. Unfortunately the re-erection never happened and over the years it has been stored in various places.
There were further efforts to resurrect the obelisk in 1977 for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, in 1996 when Prince Albert Gardens was built and for the Millennium in 2000, but all these attempts failed.
Currently in safe keeping at Haysom’s
Remarkably, the plinth and bottom part of the monument have survived and it is currently in safe keeping at Haysom’s St Aldhelm’s quarry, awaiting restoration.
Now that planning permission has been finally granted, the team at Swanage Museum behind the project can now start work to prepare the site.
The obelisk and new garden area will be positioned in the far left hand corner of Prince Albert Gardens, if you’re standing by the pier, looking up the hill. The spot was the 4th hole of the old pitch and putt golf course back in the 1980’s.
Architect drawings of the Albert Memorial in its new position
Restore the obelisk to its impressive original state
The plan is to replant the site, install seating and restore the obelisk to its impressive original state, complete with a plinth and bollards.
The cost of erecting the memorial and creating a new garden is being raised entirely from private donations.
“A real accomplishment for the town”
Chair of the Swanage and Purbeck Development Trust, Bob Foster said:
“We’re pleased that the project has now got planning permission and we’re looking forward to getting it completed. The memorial, that was originally built by George Burt, will be a great addition to the heritage of Swanage.
“We’re delighted that after fifty years, we are able to get it out of storage and that’s a real accomplishment for the town and everyone who’s worked hard to make this happen.”