Victoria Station, Victoria St, London SW1

“The LCDR’s station on the east side of the site opened two years later on 25 August 1862 with a trainshed roof designed and constructed by their engineer Sir John Fowler.” (Network Rail)
“This separation of the two stations was maintained until railway grouping in 1923 when both the LBSCR and the SECR became part of the Southern Railway. The Southern Railway set about integrating the two stations, opening up archways in the party walls that divided the two halves.” (Network Rail)
“The ‘Brighton side’ was regarded as superior given it was the departure station for many travellers heading for the fashionable seaside resort or to their country homes in Sussex. The London,Chatham & Dover, on the other hand, was used much more by the working class, particularly for dockworkers and merchant seamen travelling either to the East End of London for the docks or Chatham for the shipyard. This subtle distinction clearly amused Oscar Wide as it was the basis of a humorous exchange in his 1895 play The Importance of Being Earnest. The main protagonist, Jack Worthing – aka Ernest – relates how he was found as a baby in the cloakroom at Victoria station, stressing it was on the Brighton side in order to try to bolster his credentials as a gentleman, only to elicit a famous putdown from Lady Bracknell, who was never going to be won over: ‘The line is immaterial.’” (Wolmar, 2020)

From: Cathedrals of Steam (2020), by Christian Wolmar:

“Of far more lasting significance than these lost terminus stations were the other three incursions across the river, ending at Victoria, Charing Cross and Cannon Street stations. Victoria, the first of these to be authorized by Parliament, was a good example of how railways developed in this period. Its genesis is a complex story involving half a dozen competing railway companies that sometimes cooperated on mutually beneficial projects, but inevitably eventually fell out.”

“Royal Waiting Room. Despite the grandiose name, this is now just a set of retail stock rooms. Originally, this is where the Royal Family would enter the station. You can see the outside entrance to this on Hudson’s Place – it is the entrance with the columns to either side.” (Londonist)
Detail showing Queen Victoria’s Royal Cypher.
“The cost of the huge train shed required by Parliament in the face of concerns from the residents meant there was no money left over to provide an impressive station frontage – that would only come with a refurbishment of the station and its associated hotel in the early twentieth century. Therefore, apart from Fowler’s train shed, which survives today, there was only a wooden frontage and palisade that was meant to be temporary but actually lasted forty years. Designed by the company’s resident engineer, Robert Jacomb-Hood, the station was built on the level, not least because raising it on a viaduct like several other terminuses in London would have created more noise for the local residents. The western side of the station, which was for the trains of the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway, opened in October 186o, four months after the bridge became available.” (Wolmar, 2020) “Access to Victoria Station was to be reached by the newly constructed Grosvenor Bridge, the first railway bridge to cross the Thames in London and designed for the Victoria Station & Pimlico Railway by John Fowler. Fourteen acres of land had been purchased for the new terminus.” (Network Rail)
“The traditional Sussex shield (first known recording in 1611 by John Speed) Azure, six martlets or.” (Wikipedia)
Sir Charles Langbridge Morgan CBE (1855 – 1940) was a British civil engineer. Morgan became chief engineer of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway in 1896 and directed improvements to London Victoria station and Grosvenor Bridge. He employed Gilbert Seale, a particularly accomplished architectural modeller, to add decorative interest to blank walls.
“The hotel comprised 300 rooms, and there was a direct entrance to the building from the ‘’Brighton’’ station concourse. The hotel agreed to pay a sum to the LB&SCR for every passenger which used the concourse entrance.” (Kent Rail)
“Built by the Victorian railway pioneers in 1862, The Grosvenor Hotel Victoria ushered in a Golden Age of travel. It has been restored to its former glory and is Grade Il listed. Developed by a wealthy building contractor, Sir John Kelk, whose firm had built Victoria Station and its railway bridge. Sir Kelk, in turn, awarded the design of what was to be London’s grandest hotel to the well known architect J.T. Knowles. A design plan for the hotel was exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition for 1860, and The Grosvenor first opened to guests in 1862 – just one year after the completion of London’s Victoria Station. Published in The Building News, December 13, 1861.” (archiseek)
“Both companies decided to upgrade their respective stations towards the end of the nineteenth century. The London Brighton & South Coast Railway moved first, buying the independent Grosvenor Hotel next to their part of the station in 1899 and extending it to form their new frontage. Designed by LBSCR’s chief engineer Sir Charles Morgan it was built in red brick and adorned with a large clock set in a scroll, giving it an elaborate Edwardian Baroque style to compliment the Grosvenor Hotel. The old trainshed roof was replaced to cover newly extended platforms which could receive longer trains. With an exclusive entrance in Buckingham Palace Road also created for use by the royal family, the new station opened in 1908.” (Network Rail)

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