Prince Albert’s Memorial Clock
Another popular landmark in Belfast is the Albert Memorial Clock which for a time was also known as ‘Belfast’s leaning tower of Pisa’, before undergoing multi-million-pound restoration back in 2002.
This clock tower stands 113 feet and designed in a French and Gothic style by W.J. Barre. This structure was built as a memorial to Queen Victoria’s last Prince Consort, Prince Albert, and was erected in 1869. On the western side of the tower, you could see a statue of the Prince in the robes of a Knight of the Garter. Below him stands two ornately crowned lions and floral decoration. There is also a 2-tonne bell inside the tower and a prominent clock near the top of the tower, made by Francis Moore of Belfast.
For a time, the top of the tower was leaning 4 feet as the tower was built on a reclaimed land around the River Farset. As a result of this, some of the decorations on the belfry and the canopy over the Prince’s statue was removed in 1924.
The reputation of this tower has gone downhill at one point of its history due to the presence of prostitutes frequenting this area, targeting visiting sailors. However, things have changed in recent years after the regeneration of the Queen’s Square and Custom’s House Square, which made this zone into a vibrant public area. Its close proximity to the Cathedral Quarter which is a hub for various bars and restaurants also made this place even busier. Albert Clock was also once featured as a central location in the film, Odd Man Out, back in 1947. Another low point in this tower’s history was when it was damaged in a Provisional Irish Republican Army explosion of the nearby River House on 6 January 1992.
There are no organised tours for this attraction as access to the interior of the building is not available to the public. However, you can visit this historic location in one of Belfast City’s guided walking tours.
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