The Albert Embankment is on the east bank of the Thames and was created by Sir Joseph Bazalgette out of Fore Street, reclaimed land and numerous small timber and boat building yards. This embankment is one of three built by Bazelgette, the Victoria and Chelsea embankments being the other two. The main reason for building the embankment was to protect the low-lying areas of Lambeth from flooding during tides and heavy rain. It also provided a much needed roadway to bypass the congested streets of the area. Work started in July 1866 and it was opened on 24th November 1869. It cost �1,014,525 and is about a mile long. Part of the cost was recovered by selling 8.5 acres of reclaimed land to the governers of St Thomas' Hospital that had been evicted from Southwark to make way for railways works.
Bazelgette pioneered the use of Portland Cement in all his building works as it is very strong (compared to the then common type called roman cement) and it is also waterproof. This cement was a recent development and Bazelgette insisted on strict quality control measures another first in modern civil engineering.
During construction pieces of pottery were found these came from numerous potteries that covered the area and date back to Elizabethan times. Royal Doulton carried on the pottery tradition with a factory and studio till 1956 when they moved to Burslem in Staffordshire. WH Smiths also had a distribution centre here, this was replaced by the International Maritime Agency Organisation. At the time of writing parts of the Albert Embankment are being redeveloped and 'Parliament View' a prestigious block of apartments, near Lambeth Bridge, and a new hotel are nearing completion. Close by are the London Fire Brigade Headquarters which was designed by E.P. Wheeler, was opened by George V in 1937.