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History of Victoria Location London
Our thanks to Wikipedia for the following content
Long before Cardinal Place opposite the Cathedral came into being there was a huge brewery (Stag Brewery) based at the southern end of Victoria Street. From the early 17th century it started off as a small brewhouse with properties that once were part of St James' Palace. This then substantially grew and then was bought and owned by Watney & Co They built lodgings around the brewery as well as amenities for their staff to use. By the end of the 19th century they were employing a sizeable number of staff. It closed down in 1959 and demolished. All that now remains of it is a street name Stag Place and a pub called the Stag.
Victoria Street originated in the 1850s - and their main thoroughfares lead to demolishing of slums. The station was built in 1861.
Archibald Leitch who was renowned for his work designing football stadiums including Anfield, Stamford Bridge, Old Trafford Ibrox and White Hart Lane amongst many others. His offices were based at 53 Victoria Street (they too are long gone).
According to his biography Norman Wisdom slept near the staue of Marshal Foch by the bus station at the westerly end of the street when his parents split up at the age of Before going into comedy he worked as an errand boy in the then grand Artillery Mansions on Victoria Street which was then a grand hotel. In the 1980s it went into decay and became a squat - and in the 1990s was gutted, refurbished and now it an elegant apartment block.
The Victoria Palace Theatre has been in its present site since 1832. It was originally known as Moys music Hall but after Victoria station was built and the station it got demolished. It was demolished again in 1911 due to modernisation. It was most famous for a gold statue of Anna Pavlova which was above it. In 1939 it was removed and lost. A replica has recently been added. Infamously known as the home of the Crazy Gang and the Black and White Minstrels. It has hosted countless famous in the yearly Royal Variety Show. Most of the year it hosts musicals (its longest showing was Barnum) its latest being Billy Elliott.
Little Ben - a small 20ft version of Big Ben stands in a traffic island outside the Victoria Palace. was first erected in 1891 removed in 1963 and put back in 1981. It was given by the French company as a gift of anglo-french friendship. The Apollo Victoria on Wilton Road was designed as a super Cinema in the art deco style in the 1930 and opened as the "New Victoria". The Cinema closed in 1975 and went through a number of incarnations. In 1981 it opened with a concert by Shirley Bassey. After that it hosted a few musicals until 1984 when the roller musical Starlight Express which was the main event for 16 years. They then continued with a few musicals - Bombay Dreams, Saturday Night Fever - and its latest attraction is the musical Wicked.
Victoria Picture Palace - The Cinema, which opened in 1911 was situated directly across the street from, what is now, Victoria St Tube Station entrance. In 1978 it re- opened as The Venue - nightclub (Owned by Virgin Records). Famous & not so famous, musical acts from all over the world performed there including, Todd Rundgren, James Brown, The Cars, Captain Beefheart, Hall & Oates, Rocket 88 featuring Alexis Corner, Nine Below Zero & The Skids, to name a few.'The Venue', closed its doors, late 1981 and the Auditorium was demolished to make way for an office block. The Foyer section still stands as a fast food outlet.
The House of Fraser store in the middle of Victoria has been for most of its life known as the Army & Navy store. It opened in 1872 and sold groceries, clothes, various apparel and originally guns. It used to be open only to the most highest ranking elements of the armed forces and widows. This changed after 1922 when it was open to all. It has gradually shrunk in size. Its warehousing and depot area was sold to the Post Office, its staff car parking on Artillery Row was sold in the 1980s to make offices and its old food hall closed and is now a mini shopping concession mall. In 2005 it changed its name to House of Fraser.
Westminster Cathedral was built in 1903 filling a site previously occupied by the Tothill Fields Prison