Victoria Buildings was a long row of cheap housing named for Queen Victoria and probably built around the time of her accession in 1837 at the bottom of the western slope of Summerhouse Hill. Indeed in the 1841 census Victoria Buildings was referred to as 'New Walk' as well as its other local name of 'Heaven' by which the area was known for decades.
Built close to several leather and gloving factories shown on the map below, it was intended for workers in these factories and, when listed in the 1841 census, was almost exclusively lived in by glovers and their families.
When the railway was built along the southern and western flanks of Pen Hill in the 1860's, road access to Victoria Buildings was cut and necessitated to building of the bridge. It was a steel box-girder construction with enclosed sides, the existing road being heightened on both sides of the railway and the revetments to each side being constructed in stone.
Victoria Buildings were demolished in 1965 and the bridge was removed shortly thereafter and the road restored to its original level..
Map based on the 1886 Ordnance Survey shows Victoria Bridge, centre bottom, carrying the spur of Addlewell Lane over the railway tracks to Victoria Buildings.
Courtesy of Roger Froude
Victoria Bridge, at top left, with the Addlewell Lane approach running up from centre right. At bottom left is the former Coronation Buildings but at the time of this late 1950's photograph the glove factory of Parker, Brooks & Long.
This photograph, taken in 1963 from Park Street, looks across to the terrace of cheap housing known as Victoria Buildings. Right of centre is Victoria Bridge crossing the railway and clearly showing how Addlewell Lane was raised up either side of the railway.
The view from Victoria Bridge, again taken in 1963, looks east along the railway tracks towards the town station with Victoria Buildings to the right and Wyndham Hill in the distance beyond.
Photographed by Geoff Bowler, courtesy of Sue Bowler
The view from Victoria Bridge looking west. Photographed in 1969.