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The Great Excavation

Currently under construction: the next phase in the building’s development


In 1871, our opening year, we staged just 36 shows. We now host almost 400 events in the auditorium and many hundreds more around the Royal Albert Hall every year.

As we approach our landmark 150th anniversary in 2021, we are excavating a two-storey, double height basement to provide much-needed space for artists, crew and promoters. The excavation will also enable us to provide more facilities for our audiences within the Hall.

The project has been fondly nicknamed ‘The Great Excavation’, as a tribute to Prince Albert and Henry Cole’s historic Great Exhibition of 1851, the success of which funded the creation of the area we now know as Albertopolis.

This page will provide updates on the project’s progress over the next two years.

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The Great Excavation

The project will include the creation of dedicated public spaces to extend our vital, life-changing and inspirational Education & Outreach work as well as giving us space in which to bring our rich archive to life, sharing our unrivalled history of performance.

Also in anticipation of our 150th birthday, we are undertaking extensive renovation and cleaning on the North side of the building.

As we approach our landmark 150th anniversary in 2021, you can help us to build the future of the Royal Albert Hall. If everyone who visited our website this year were to give £4, we would raise enough to carry out the entire project, ensuring that this amazing charity thrives for the next generation of artists and audiences and continues to create unforgettable experiences for everyone

Please help us to build the future of the Hall

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Discoveries from the digging during The Great Excavation project, including oyster shells, ink pots and a spoon. 9 October 2017

10 October 2017 Lost and Found

As the initial digging work for the project neared its completion, we took the time to look over some of the items uncovered by workers on the site.

We discovered a range of weird and wonderful items, all of which help tell the story of what life was like when the Hall was being constructed.

Learn more

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