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Theatre Royal Drury Lane and Attached Sir Augustus Harris Memorial Drinking Fountain

A Grade I Listed Building in City of Westminster, London

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.513 / 51°30'46"N

Longitude: -0.1202 / 0°7'12"W

OS Eastings: 530537

OS Northings: 181017

OS Grid: TQ305810

Mapcode National: GBR KC.5S

Mapcode Global: VHGQZ.V7SG

Entry Name: Theatre Royal Drury Lane and Attached Sir Augustus Harris Memorial Drinking Fountain

Listing Date: 24 February 1958

Last Amended: 23 July 1991

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1357276

English Heritage Legacy ID: 209014

Location: Westminster, London, WC2B

County: London

District: City of Westminster

Electoral Ward/Division: St James's

Built-Up Area: City of Westminster

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Paul Covent Garden

Church of England Diocese: London

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Listing Text

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.

------------------------------------

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

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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