The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 3 Westminster

Victoria Street

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From the south-west end of The Sanctuary VICTORIA STREET, opened in 1851, runs to the west to (+ mile) Victoria Station. This spacious but somewhat dull street is flanked by more or less handsome blocks of offices and chambers, a remarkably large proportion being occupied by civil engineers and architects. Abbey House, formerly the Westminster Palace Hotel, at its east end, was a frequent scene of conferences, arbitrations, and similar meetings; a tablet in the old Conference Room records that the Act of Union founding the Dominion of Canada was framed there in 1866-67. To the north of VICTORIA STREET: Broadway, diverging on the right, runs north to St. James's Park Station, passing Christ Church and the east end of Caxton St., in which is Caxton Hall, used (or meetings, concerts, bazaars, etc. A Blue Coat School, founded in 1688, occupies a building at the west end of Caxton St. ascribed to Wren. Electric Railway House, in Broadway, is the headquarters of the London Traffic Combine. In Petty France (recently York St.) Milton occupied 'a pretty garden-house' from 1651 till 1660. This house (No. 19; demolished in 1877) afterwards belonged to Jeremy Bentham, and was occupied successively by James Mill and Hazlitt. Buckingham Gate leads from Victoria St. to Buckingham Palace. Palace Street, another turning off Victoria St., runs past Westminster City School to the Royal Mews. To the south of VICTORIA STREET. This region, once a slum district, but now being redeemed, occupies in great part the site of the ancient Tothill Fields. Artillery Row, commemorating in its name the Westminster archery-butts, and Strutton Ground, lined with costermongers' stalls, run south from Victoria St. to Grey Coat Place, in which is the Grey Coat School , founded in 1698 for boys and girls, but since 1873 a day-school for girls only. In Horseferry Road, which leads hence to Lambeth Bridge, is the building occupied during the War as the Australian Imperial Forces War Chest Club. To the south-west lies Vincent Square, once a bear-garden, the spacious centre of which has been since 1810 the playing-field of Westminster School. On its north side, at the corner of Elverton St. are the headquarters of the Royal Horticultural Society, which was established in 1804. Fortnightly shows of fruit and vegetables are held here. The great annual flower-shows are held at Holland House and Chelsea Hospital. The gardens of the Society are now at Wisley, in Surrey, 22 miles south of London, the station for which is Horsley.