Records of Victoria Home

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

These are the records of the Victoria Home, 1860-1984.

Prior to its purchase by The Salvation Army, the site of 177 Whitechapel Road, London formed part of the site of the Whitechapel Workhouse and subsequently one half of the Victoria Homes for Working Men.

In 1919 The Salvation Army bought the site of Victoria Home No. II and took it over as a going concern with 450 lodgers. The Victoria Home (as it was now called) was run as a hostel; it was differentiated from Salvation Army Men's Shelters by its higher prices and quality of 'comfort' available. Men paid five pence per night for a dorm or seven pence for a private cubicle. By 1922 the site had accommodation for 540, including 128 private cubicles.

In 1984 Victoria Home ceased to operate and services were transferred to Booth House, at the adjoining site to Victoria Home. Most residents from Victoria Home moved to Riverside House, London. In 1994 177 Whitechapel Road was destroyed with the plan of building new flats for homeless men on the site.

Victoria Home, along with Booth House hostel and Rawson Home eventide home, were at times collectively known as the Whitechapel complex.

The records cover the years 1860-1919 and 1971-1984.

The records are divided into two series:

VH/1 Victoria Homes (pre-Salvation Army)

VH/2 Victoria Home

Administrative / Biographical History

Prior to purchase by The Salvation Army the site of 177 Whitechapel Road, London formed part of the site of the Whitechapel Workhouse and subsequently one half of the Victoria Homes for Working Men.

The Victoria Homes were founded by Lord Radstock in approximately 1887. Trustees of the Homes included Mr T A Denny, Mr J F W Deacon and Hon. Granville Waldegrave (3rd Baron Radstock). The Homes constituted two sites; No. I at 39-41 Commercial Street, London and No. II at 177 Whitechapel Road. The Homes styled themselves as an expression of 'practical Christianity'. Together they provided 'a better class of accommodation' than 'common lodging houses' for over 1000 'respectable' men.

During the first world war the Homes faced increasing financial difficulties and the Trustees decided to close Home I. In 1919 The Salvation Army bought the site of Home II and took it over as a going concern with 450 lodgers. The Victoria Home (as it was now called) was run as a hostel; it was differentiated from Salvation Army Men's Shelters by its higher prices and quality of 'comfort' available. Men paid five pence per night for a dorm or seven pence for a private cubicle. By 1922 the site had accommodation for 540, including 128 private cubicles.

By the 1970s accommodation had decreased to 310; by 1983 accommodation was for 200 men. In 1984 Victoria Home ceased to operate and services were transferred to Booth House, at the adjoining site to Victoria Home. Most residents from Victoria Home moved to Riverside House, London. In 1994 177 Whitechapel Road was destroyed with the plan of building new flats for homeless men on the site.

Victoria Home, along with Booth House hostel and Rawson Home eventide home, were at times collectively known as the Whitechapel complex.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research. The reading room of The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre is open Tue-Fri 9.30-4.00. It is advisable to make an appointment. Tel: 0207 326 7800; email: heritage@salvationarmy.org.uk.

Other Finding Aids

A multi-level description of this collection can be accessed in the International Heritage Centre's online catalogue: http://www.calmview.eu/SalvationArmy/CalmView/. A paper catalogue is available in the reading room of the International Heritage Centre.

Custodial History

The complete custodial history of the records in the series is not known. Records covering 1904-1918 were donated to The Salvation Army by Alan Munden of Christ Church, Coventry on behalf of the Church Pastoral Aid Society in 1991; these records had previously been part of the personal papers of the Deacon family.