Victoria Hall was one of the Jubilee Gifts to Glossop that were donated by wealthy benefactors to the people of Glossop, to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887. The donors of the Victoria Hall were Herbert Rhodes and Captain Edward Partington.
Herbert Rhodes, an ambitious young mill owner, announced his generous gift of £2000 towards a public building in October 1886. This was quickly followed by an additional £2000, donated by Captain Partington. They immediately went to the famed theatre architects, Darbyshire and Smith, after deciding to use their donation to build a free library and public hall and arranged for plans, “which no one for a moment need be afraid of being a disgrace to the town”.
Lord Howard offered the land for the building, but after four suggested sites and months of deadlock, the triangular site on the junction of Talbot Street and Fauvel Road was finally decided upon.
The plans were hastily adjusted to fit the new site, confirmed in June 1887, and the construction hurriedly started, in order to be ready to lay the foundations stones, as part of the Jubilee Celebrations on 30th July 1887.
The Victoria Hall was opened in December 1888, without ceremony and over budget. The lending library opened 3 years later in 1891, when enough books had been purchased.
From the beginning the Victoria Hall has been a hub of community activity with a public hall that could accommodate 1000 people and the free library, reading room, lecture hall, museum and garden. It has been the setting for concerts, assault-at-arms, theatricals, balls, bazaars, lectures, meetings, dramatic performances, Grammar School events and dances for the local factories, as well as housing the public library.
Glossop Heritage Trust are hosting their Spring Open Evening on “The Great Jubilee Gifts to Glossop”. The illustrated talk takes a more detailed look at the people and events surrounding the construction of the Victoria Hall and the other jubilee gifts – Wood’s Hospital, Wood’s Baths and Howard Park.
The open evening is on Tuesday 25th April 2017 at Central Methodist Church, Chapel Street, Glossop at 7.30pm. Free admission, All welcome. More details at – https://www.facebook.com/GlossopHeritage/
To find out more about the history of the Victoria Hall, please see our history page