Founding the museum
When Prince Albert died in 1861, one of the Secretaries for the Great Exhibition and a Devon MP, Sir Stafford Northcote, proposed a memorial to Albert should be established in Exeter. An appeal for funds was launched and a meeting the following year created the blueprint for the Devon and Exeter Albert Memorial Institution. This was to be a new building on Queen Street housing a museum and art gallery, a free public library, a school of art and a college.
"An exquisite jewel box of a building; a Venetian casket. One of the most appealing treasures in Britain."
Dan Cruickshank, architectural heritage consultant, writer and TV presenter.October 2006