• On the front are animal stone carvings representing different parts of the Empire
  • It was the main office of the Singer Sewing Machine Company
  • Designed by local architect Arthur Wakerley

A celebration of royalty and Empire

Once described as a “jolly piece of commercial vulgarity”, the Coronation Buildings marked both the Coronation of Edward VII in 1902 and Britain´s strong ties to its Victorian Empire. This Art Nouveau style building was designed by local architect and philanthropist Arthur Wakerley, Mayor of Leicester in 1897. He also designed the Turkey Cafe on Granby Street as well as a number of other commercial and residential buildings in Leicester and its suburbs.

How were the buildings used?

The buildings were part of the remodelling of the High Street in the early 20th Century to make way for the new electric tram system. From their opening in 1904 until the mid-1960s the greater part of the Coronation Buildings was occupied by the main showroom and Midland head office of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. It soon became popularly known as the “Singer Building”. The electrical engineers T.H. Wathes and Co. Ltd were also based there for many years.

Visitor information
Can be seen from street

Gallery

Roman Leicester

(47- 500) A military fort was erected, attracting traders and a growing civilian community to Leicester (known as Ratae Corieltauvorum to the Romans). The town steadily grew throughout the reign of the Romans.

Medieval Leicester

(500 – 1500) The early years of this period was one of unrest with Saxon, Danes and Norman invaders having their influences over the town. Later, of course, came Richard III and the final battle of the Wars of the Roses was fought on Leicester’s doorstep.

Tudor & Stuart Leicester

(1500 – 1700) The wool trade flourished in Leicester with one local, a former mayor named William Wigston, making his fortune. During the English Civil War a bloody battle was fought as the forces of King Charles I laid siege to the town.

Georgian Leicester

(1700 – 1837) The knitting industry had really stared to take hold and Leicester was fast becoming the main centre of hosiery manufacture in Britain. This new prosperity was reflected throughout the town with broader, paved streets lined with elegant brick buildings and genteel residences.

Edwardian Leicester

(1901 – 1910) Electric trams came to the streets of Leicester and increased literacy among the citizens led to many becoming politicised. The famous 1905 ‘March of the Unemployed to London’ left from Leicester market when 30,000 people came to witness the historic event.

Early 20th Century Leicester

(1910 – 1973) The diverse industrial base meant Leicester was able to cope with the economic challenges of the 1920s and 1930s. New light engineering businesses, such as typewriter and scientific instrument making, complemented the more traditional industries of hosiery and footwear manufacturing.

Modern Leicester

(1973 – present day) Industry was still thriving in the city during the 1970s, with the work opportunities attracting many immigrants from all over the world. While industry has declined in recent years, excellent transport links have made Leicester an attractive centre for many businesses. The City now has much to be proud of including its sporting achievements and the richness of its cultural heritage and diversity.

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