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Victoria Street

Liverpool, Victoria Street

The layout of central Liverpool is medieval in origin. From the late 18th century onwards the narrow, irregular streets were widened and straightened to cope with the rapidly increasing traffic of the burgeoning town, and in 1868 an entirely new street was opened - Victoria Street - cutting across the centre in a direct line from west to east. The most westerly part follows the courseGlossary Term of a pre-existing street, Temple Court, but the remainder was driven though a densely built-up area of insanitary property. As well as improving communications, the new street allowed this area to be rebuilt along more spacious and dignified lines. However, despite being a planned development, Victoria Street is far from uniform in its architecture. It has buildings in a wide variety of materials, in styles ranging from Queen AnneGlossary Term to TudorGlossary Term GothicGlossary Term. Most were designed by local architects, and they illustrate Victorian eclecticism at its most exuberant.

Liverpool, Victoria St., No.21, Union House.

The western half of the street became the favoured location of fruit and produce dealers, Liverpool being the centre of this trade for much of the north of England in the late 19th century. Exchanges for these commodities were built, along with office blocks and warehousing for merchants. Banks were also located here, and in the 1890s the new General PostGlossary Term Office arose on the south side. Three railway companies established depots in Victoria Street, and the east end was occupied by the offices and printing presses of Liverpool's newspapers. The uses of most of these buildings have changed, but Victoria Street remains one of 19th-century Liverpool's best preserved commercial thoroughfares.