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. Indeed, Heaven was the name given to the general area off Addlewell Lane containing Coronation Buildings and Victoria Buildings. It was named as such on the 1841 Census.
Built close to several leather and gloving factories shown on the map below and seen in the first photograph, 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.
The 1851 census shows fourteen families living in Victoria Buildings but with a slightly greater diversity of occupations than in 1841. Of a total of 107 people living there, 58 were employed in the leather and gloving factories although of these more than thirty were women and girls who were chiefly 'outworkers' sewing gloves at home. There were also three cordwainers (shoemakers), seven labourers, two carpenters and a painter, four dressmakers and five laundresses and two families even had female servants.
Victoria Buildings were demolished in 1965.
The 1886 Ordnance Survey showing Victoria Buildings at bottom right.
In this photograph of 1950 the rear of Victoria Buildings stretches across the bottom of the photograph, seen from the slopes of the hill behind, and Park Street runs across the top of the photograph, while glove factories fill the space in between. Immediately above Victoria Buildings is the long terrace of former houses known as Coronation Buildings but, by this time, the leather and gloving workshops of Parker, Brooks and Long. At left the dog-leg spur of Addlewell Lane runs past Coronation Buildings towards Victoria Bridge, obscured in this photograph by Victoria Buildings.
An aerial photograph of 1953 showing the Round House at top left of centre surmounting Summerhouse Hill. The patchwork of the lower slopes of the hill are allotments with the railway line running across the bottom of the photograph. At bottom right are Victoria Buildings.
Courtesy of Roger Froude
Lane end of
the late 1950s.
the terrace of
housing known as
Seen from Park Street in 1963, Victoria Buildings face the railway on the far side of Victoria Bridge.
Taken from Victoria Bridge in 1963, this photograph shows Victoria Buildings at right.
Victoria Buildings photographed in 1963. At this time only two houses in the terrace were still occupied and they were demolished in 1965.