The Hippodrome, previously known as the Empire Palace opened in 1921. On the left-hand side is the Sunray Hippodrome Lounge which sold Butlers Ales. The billboards are advertising Archie Pitts Big Laugh Review called 'The Shows The Thing'  from the Winter Garden Theatre in London. It starred Peter Fannan and Bert Wright.

Although well known as a variety theatre and music Hall, it was converted to a cinema for a year in 1932, when the Agricultural Hall was demolished to make way for the Gaumont Palace.

When the Gaumont opened it was quickly converted back to a theatre. It was very successful, many famous names such as Max Miller and Morecambe and Wise have appeared here. 

Sadly the theatre was demolished after a fire in February 1956 and was replaced by the Times Furnishing building.

Several years ago the building was refurbished and has since been the home of Yates's Wine Lodge. 

This view of the south side of Queen Square was taken in 1907 just before the buildings were demolished to make way for the Queen's Arcade. The large poster on the right displays a plan of the forthcoming arcade under the title 'Queen Square Improvement'.

The old Allen's piano shop is very prominent as is the Red House clothing store. The building on the left is occupied by W. Barratt.

The same scene a few years later showing the south side of Queen Square at its best.

The wonderfully ornate Queen's Arcade building complements the Empire Palace on the left.  In the centre is one of the Lorain trams, possibly on its way to Tettenhall.

On the far right is W. H. Hinde & Co. who were cigar importers, and to the left of the arcade is the premises of Walter Waring.

This corner of Queen Square has now lost all of its original splendor.

The Queen's Arcade was demolished to make way for the Mander Centre and The Empire Palace was destroyed by Fire in 1956.

If the Queen's Arcade had remained it would have made a splendid entrance to the Mander Centre.


This fine view shows Queen Square before the age of the motor vehicle. It was taken before 1889 when the Empire Palace opened.

The tram lines were for the horse drawn tram service to Newbridge and Tettenhall which commenced in 1878. A look into Lichfield Street reveals that its rebuilding program which started in the early 1880's was not yet complete. Albert's statue is still in its original position at the top of the square.


Today's scene is very different to the earlier one. It is dominated by Yates's Wine Lodge on the far left and the Mander Centre on the far right.

The building in the centre has sadly lost its fine cupola and time ball and is now less significant.

The trees and shrubs greatly enhance the look of the modern square, softening its appearance.

Queen Square in 1902 at the time of the Art & Industrial Exhibition. Early in that year electric trams using the Lorain system started to run in Wolverhampton.

The tram in the centre was one of the first. It is Wolverhampton Corporation tramcar number 10 and was carrying people to the exhibition, and so presumably went to Bath Road.

The toilets to its right were built to cater for visitors that came here for the exhibition, and are believed to be the first public conveniences built in the country to cater for both men and women.

Horse drawn carriages and cabs were still queuing here for their fares, and the old shelter for the cab men can be seen behind Albert's statue.

Although the buildings have changed little since the previous photograph, the layout of the road and pedestrian areas is very different. Albert's statue is now a little distance from its original location, and the toilets and shelter have disappeared. Its interesting to contrast today's neat and tidy telephone boxes with the precarious looking array of wires and poles in the top right hand corner of the previous photograph. 

This 1907 photograph was taken just before the south side of Queen square was redeveloped when the Queen's arcade was built.

The fine Georgian building in the centre housed Thomas and Edward Harley who were wine and spirit merchants. The shop on the left belonged to Walter Waring and the one on the right was occupied by W. Barratt.




This view from 2000 is very different. Albert's statue has now moved to this part of the square which is now pedestrianised. In the centre is Wolverhampton Council's Information Centre and on the left is the Woolwich Building Society.

This early photograph of the north eastern corner of High Green was taken before the Russian Cannon was put on display in 1858.

The eastern side of this part of High Green was then much longer. It was shortened when Lichfield Street was widened in the early 1880's.

Nearest the church was the premises of W. Thomas, and next door was Paris House. The middle building housed a telegraph station and Onions shop. The fine 17th century town house on the corner was owned by John Gholditch who was a wine merchant. The fine Georgian house on the extreme left was George Cope's wine merchants. He purchased the building in 1818 and traded there for many years.


By the late 1870's all of the buildings on the far side of Lich Gates (as it is now called) were gone. They were replaced by the Barclay's Bank building which was built in two halves, front and rear. The date of its construction as given in the building's listing is 1876.

Copes Wine Lodge is now a branch of the South Staffordshire Building Society, and still looks as good as ever.

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