Foundations laid for the Albert Memorial in Swanage

The concrete slab has been poured to form part of the base for the Purbeck stone obelisk that is to be reconstructed in Prince Albert Gardens in Swanage.

It was originally erected in the High Street at the top of Court Hill in Swanage in 1862 in memory of Queen Victoria’s husband Albert, who had died the year before.

It was the idea of George Burt, the Victorian benefactor, who was also responsible for building Durlston Castle and Swanage Town Hall.

Albert Memorial in Swanage
Swanage Museum
Albert Memorial in background
Swanage Museum

The Albert Memorial obelisk photographed in its original position in the High Street in Swanage

Removed in 1971 to make way for housing

The monument survived until at least 1925, when it was photographed at its full height but by 1932 it had lost its top tiers and had been truncated. In 1971, with planning permission granted to build a row of houses on the site, it was taken down to make way for a new row of houses.

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.

Artist impression of the Albert Memorial
Dorset Design & Build

An artist’s impression of what the completed work will look like

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, planning permission was approved

Several years ago the idea was mooted again and then in 2020, finally, amid the coronavirus pandemic, planning permission was approved to re-erect it in the far corner of Prince Albert Gardens.

The location is close to Peveril Point where Prince Albert is said to have disembarked from the royal yacht around the 1850’s.

Once work is completed the obelisk will be surrounded by benches and a new public garden of reflection, that will provide a quiet spot to sit and enjoy the panoramic views across Swanage Bay.

Work has started to re-erect the Albert Memorial
Work has started to re-erect the Albert Memorial
Work has started to re-erect the Albert Memorial

Work started in February 2021 and the groundworks are well underway

Hoped to be completed by May 2021

Swanage Town Council said:

“The site is owned by the Town Council but no public money is being spent on the reconstruction. The work has been commissioned by Swanage and Purbeck Development Trust and the Swanage Museum and Heritage Centre, and paid for by a private benefactor.

“Once completed the garden will be handed back to the Town Council for the future use and enjoyment of local residents and visitors alike. It’s hoped that the work will be completed by May this year, when there will be an official opening.”

Further information

More can be found out about the Albert Memorial on the Swanage Museum website

Work has started to re-erect the Albert Memorial
Work has started to re-erect the Albert Memorial

Work is expected to be complete by May 2021

Share this story

Contact us

Do you have anything to add to this story?

We like to keep everything up-to-date, so if you know more, please help us by getting in touch.

Community comments

Top stories

Swanage says farewell to Henry The funeral procession for 25 year old Henry Searle, who valiantly fought brain cancer for far longer than doctors ever expected, will take place through Swanage. 3 weeks ago Man in his 20s rescued by kayakers after Old Harry fall 7 days ago Serious car crash closes road just outside Corfe Castle 2 weeks ago Mayday at Swanage Beach as dogs banned and road closed 1 week ago Studland to get vehicle tow-away zone for summer 2 days ago

Most recent

Great Dorset Beach Clean to go ahead in Swanage Despite being cancelled in 2020 due to Covid, the Great Dorset Beach Clean is back and will take place across 22 local beaches including Swanage and Studland. 15 hours ago New Swanage Town councillor named 1 day ago Studland to get vehicle tow-away zone for summer 2 days ago Two people run over by own car at Lulworth 2 days ago Swanage voters go to the polls 3 days ago