- Queen's Tower (London)
The Queen's Tower is situated in the
South Kensingtoncampus of Imperial College, London, England. It is 287 feet tall with a copper covered dome at its top. To reach the base of the dome from the ground on foot, one must ascend a series of narrow spiral staircases, which comprise 325 steps in total.
The Tower used to be the central tower of the
Imperial Institute, and is now its sole remaining building. The Institute was founded on Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887, and its demolition began in 1957. In 1966, the tower was repaired to enable it to stand on its own. There are also two stone lions at the foot of the tower, which were once set at the entrance to the Imperial Institute. These two stone lions are pair of a set of four, the other two (which are not in such good condition) are in the grounds of the Commonwealth Institute.
There are ten bells hung for
change ringingin the belfry of the tower, about two thirds of the way up. These bells, known collectively as the Alexandra Peal, were a gift from Mrs Elizabeth M. Millar of Australiain 1892, and are named after Queen Victoria— the tenor (largest) bell — and members of her family. They are rung on Royal Anniversaries and on the dates of the Imperial College degree ceremonies.
The highest viewing gallery is below the
domeat the top of the building. Upon walking through the door you get the unique view of seeing the top of the Albert Memorialon top of the Albert Hall.
Being one of the tallest towers in the west of London, the Queen's Tower enjoys an uninterrupted view in all directions.
The viewing gallery has been open to the public at various times. It is currently closed.
The Queen's Tower is now in the custody of Imperial College. It is floodlit at night.
* [http://www.imperial.ac.uk/P353.htm About Imperial — Queen's Tower]
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