THEATRE ROYAL DRURY LANE AND ATTACHED SIR AUGUSTUS HARRIS MEMORIAL DRINKING FOUNTAIN

Overview

Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: I

List Entry Number: 1357276

Date first listed: 24-Feb-1958

Date of most recent amendment: 23-Jul-1991

Statutory Address: THEATRE ROYAL DRURY LANE AND ATTACHED SIR AUGUSTUS HARRIS MEMORIAL DRINKING FOUNTAIN, CATHERINE STREET WC2

Statutory Address: THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY LANE WC2

Map

Ordnance survey map of THEATRE ROYAL DRURY LANE AND ATTACHED SIR AUGUSTUS HARRIS MEMORIAL DRINKING FOUNTAIN
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Location

Statutory Address: THEATRE ROYAL DRURY LANE AND ATTACHED SIR AUGUSTUS HARRIS MEMORIAL DRINKING FOUNTAIN, CATHERINE STREET WC2

Statutory Address: THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY LANE WC2

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Greater London Authority

District: City of Westminster (London Borough)

National Grid Reference: TQ 30537 81017

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

TQ 3080 NE CATHERINE STREET, WC2 60/18 & 73/1 Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

GV I

The address and description shall be amended to read:-

CATHERINE STREET, WC2

Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and attached Sir Augustus Harris Memorial Drinking Fountain

I

Theatre. Rebuild of 1811-12 by Benjamin Dean Wyatt with portico added 1820 and Russell Street colonnade in 1831 by Samuel Beazley; the auditorium rebuilt 1921-22 by J. Emblin Walker, Jones and Crombie but retaining Wyatt's reception rooms, foyer etc. Stuccoed facade, cast iron colonnade to Russell Street with brick stucco dressed above and stucco rear elevation to Drury Lane, slate roof. Restrained Grecian detailing. 2 tall storeys on plinth. 5 window wide entrance front (1:3:1). Centre 3 bays of ground floor screened by large austere portico of coupled antae-piers with anthemion band to necks. 3 semicircular arched doorways to hall, recessed for one order in shallow arcade and flanked by engaged circular pedestals supporting cast iron lamps. The outer bays, with semicircular arched openings on ground floor and eared architraved and corniced 1st floor windows, have flanking giant pilasters carrying the deep entablature and parapet. The 3 central 1st floor windows have eared architraves and pediments. The cast iron colonnade to Russell Street has coupled fluted ionic columns carrying entablature with wrought iron lamp brackets suspended between each pair of columns. The interior is unique amongst London theatres in retaining the surviving elements of its original Wyatt interiors: Greek Doric vestibule, oculus-galleried rotunda hall, elegant iron balustraded staircase ascending symmetrically on either side to central 1st floor rotunda foyer with corinthian column screens under coffered dome etc. the 1921-22 auditorium is Empire style, 3 tiers of 2-bay boxes and 3 balconies. Elaborate and important installation of Asphaleia stage machinery etc.

Attached memorial drinking fountain on Catherine Street facade. C1897, designed by Sydney R.J. Smith and erected by public subscription through the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain & Cattle Trough Association. Bust of Harris by Sir Thomas Brock. Fountain and basin in a round-arched niche in rough-hewn rusticated granite base over which are carved putti forming the centre of a plinth from which rise polished granite Corinthian columns, with bronze enrichments of musical trophies and masonic devices at bases, to carry a sandstone pediment. Recessed central niche of enriched pulvinated pilasters carrying a broken segmental pediment beneath which a bronze bust of Harris on a plinth. Sir Augustus Harris was a popular impresario who "resurrected the Drury Lane theatre when it had fallen on evil times". Founded in 1859 the Metropolitan Free Drinking Association (Cattle Trough added 1867) provided free fresh water to many humans and beasts at a time when ale and spirits were easier to obtain than water and most supplies were contaminated the Christian association of water with purity of spirit led evangelical Victorians to become patrons of the association which provided a catalogue of functional designs although some wealthy patrons used their own.

Survey of London; Vol. XXXV The Theatres of London; Mander and Mitchelson.

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TQ 3080 NE and 3081 SE CITY OF WESTMINSTER CATHERINE STREET, WC2

60/18 and 73/1 Theatre Royal, Drury Lane 24.2.58 G.V. I

Theatre. Rebuild of 1811-12 by Benjamin Dean Wyatt with portico added 1820 and Russell Street colonnade in 1831 by Samuel Beazley; the auditorium rebuilt 1921-22 by J. Emblin Walker, Jones and Cromie but retaining Wyatt's reception rooms,foyer etc. Stuccoed facade, cast iron colonnade to Russell Street with brick stucco dressed above and stucco rear elevation to Drury Lane, slate roof. Restrained Grecian detailing. 2 tall storeys on plinth. 5 window wide entrance front (1:3:1). Centre 3 bays of ground floor screened by large austere portico of coupled antae-piers with anthemion band to necks; 3 semicircular arched doorways to hall, recessed for one order in shallow arcade and flanked by engaged circular pedestals supporting cast iron lamps. The outer bays, with semicircular arched openings on ground floor and eared architraved and corniced 1st floor windows, have flanking giant pilasters carrying the deep entablature and parapet. The 3 central 1st floor windows have eared architraves and pediments. The cast iron colonnade to Russell Street has coupled fluted Ionic columns carrying entablature with wrought iron lamp brackets suspended between each pair of columns. The interior is unique amongst London theatres in retaining the surviving elements of its original Wyatt interiors: Greek Doric vestibule, oculus-galleried rotunda hall, elegant iron balustraded staircases ascending symmetrically on either side to central 1st floor rotunda foyer with Corinthian column screens under coffered dome etc. The 1921-22 auditorium in Empire style, 3 tiers of 3- bay boxes and 3 balconies. Elaborate and important installation of Asphaleia stage machinery etc.

Survey of London; Vol. XXXV. The Theatres of London; Mander and Mitchenson.

Listing NGR: TQ3053781017

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 209014

Legacy System: LBS

Sources

Books and journals
Mander, , Mitchenson, , The Theatres of London, (1975)
'Survey of London' in The Theatre Royal Drury Lane and The Royal Opera House Covent Garden: Volume 35 , , Vol. 35, (1970)

End of official listing