The Albert Memorial Clock is located at Queen’s Square in Belfast and is one of Belfast’s best known landmarks. In 1865 a competition for the design of a memorial to Queen Victoria’s late Prince Consort, Prince Albert. was won by W. J. Barre, who had earlier designed Belfast’s Ulster Hall. Initially Barre was not awarded his prize and the contract was secretly given to Lanyon, Lynn, and Lanyon, who had come second. Following public outcry the contract was eventually awarded to Barre. It was completed in 1869 and construction costs were £2,500 (equal to approx £181,000 in today’s money). It was completed in 1869 and stands 113 feet tall. It is a mix of French and Italian Gothic styles with the base featuring flying buttresses with heraldic lions and a 2 tonne bell. The clock is often called ‘Belfast’s Leaning Tower of Pisa as it leans 4 feet from the perpendicular. The land was reclaimed from the River Farset an so the clock was built on wooden piles on marshy ground. Being situated close to the docks, the tower was once infamous for being frequented by prostitutes plying their trade with visiting sailors. However, in recent years regeneration has turned the surrounding area into one of the most attractive modern public spaces in the city.

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