Manchester Hotel, Aldersgate Street, London | WW2 Photos

The Manchester Hotel was a prominent landmark on Aldersgate Street, London, for more than six decades. It was built in 1879 by two textile businessmen, Henry Thomas Tubbs and Joseph Lewis, who wanted to provide a comfortable and convenient accommodation for their clients and visitors from the North of England . The hotel had 240 bedrooms, a spacious dining room, a billiard room, a bar and a lounge. It was also used by juries sitting on murder trials at the Old Bailey, who were locked up for the night under the supervision of the City ushers.

The Manchester Hotel: A Witness of History.

Opened in 1879, it was for years a rendezvous for buyers and sellers from the provinces, especially from the North; and for visitors who came to Town for football Cup finals.

Manchester Hotel Aldersgate Street
Manchester Hotel Aldersgate Street

The hotel witnessed many historical events during its existence. In 1888, it hosted a meeting of the Fabian Society, where George Bernard Shaw delivered a lecture on socialism. In 1908, it was the venue for a suffragette rally, where Emmeline Pankhurst and other women activists addressed a large crowd of supporters. In 1914, it closed its doors due to the outbreak of World War I and was commandeered by the government as a hostel for Jewish refugees from Belgium and Poland. It reopened in 1919 after undergoing extensive modernisation.

However, the hotel’s most dramatic moment came in December 1940, when it was attacked by German bombs during World War II. The hotel was gutted by fire and reduced to a heap of rubble. The photo below shows the aftermath of the bombing.

The Manchester Hotel was one of many buildings that were destroyed or damaged by the Blitz, which lasted from September 1940 to May 1941. The Blitz aimed to weaken Britain’s morale and economy by targeting its major cities and industrial centres. London suffered the most, with more than 20,000 civilians killed and over one million homes damaged or destroyed.

Manchester Hotel – Aldersgate Street London

Manchester Hotel Aldersgate Street. The hotel's most dramatic moment came in December 1940, when it was attacked by German bombs during World War II. The hotel was gutted by fire and reduced to a heap of rubble. The photo below shows the aftermath of the bombing.
Manchester Hotel Aldersgate Street

The Manchester Hotel was more than just a place to stay. It was a witness of history that reflected London’s changing fortunes over time. It saw prosperity and poverty, peace and war, progress and destruction. It welcomed guests from all walks of life and hosted events that shaped Britain’s society and politics. It was part of London’s heritage that deserves to be remembered.

The Manchester Hotel felt the competition of new hotels in the West End before the last war, and in 1914 closed its doors. Commandeered then by the Government, it was a hostel for a time for Jewish refugees from Belgium and Poland.

The site of the Manchester Hotel remained vacant for many years after the war. It was eventually redeveloped as part of the Barbican estate, a complex of residential towers, cultural venues and public spaces that opened in 1982. Today, nothing remains of the hotel except some memories and photos.

Images from East London showing the destruction from German bombs during World War Two. Images scanned from a genuine copy of The London Evening news magazine, handed down to me from my grandfather.

8 thoughts on “Manchester Hotel, Aldersgate Street, London | WW2 Photos”

  1. I am looking into the Hotel background as it was used for a short while between 1939 and 1940 used as the meeting place of a Masonic Lodge . Pharos Lodge number 5594.
    I know it is a long shot that something may have been preserved.

  2. My Dad had a Dance Band in the 30’s and I have found a Menu for a Dinner Dance from 1936 at the Manchester Hotel hosted by the Walthamstow Swimming Club I have listed it on ebay in case anyone is interested but later researching the location just came across this

    Richard Stratford

  3. I have a postcard dated Oct 5th 1907, posted to miss m Mansfield, Manchester Hotel, Aldersgate street, Ec. From D.M. the other info on it is a code: J.H.G.D.A.B then L.T.M.O.L.S. amour in toi. ANYWAYS IF YOU WANT IT LET ME KNOW. FREE OF CHARGE. THE FRONT OF IT SHOWS A PHOTO OF MISS ALICE CRAWFORD. LET ME KNOW. ALAN

  4. My great great grandfather Henry Thomas Tubbs and his business partner Joseph Lewis built this hotel and owned it for a time after it was opened. The initial cost in 1879 was around £70,000. It originally had 240 bedrooms but was expanded. There was a second main entrance on Long Lane.It was not their primary business. They had a textile business and many other properties. Their London base was 29-30 Noble Street just a few yards from the hotel site. Unfortunately I do not have any personal records that add to what is in the public domain

  5. My mum asked me to google this hotel. I found loads of images but she zoomed onto this one immediately.

    She was one of the many kids that would rush to the hotel to buy surplus cakes at a knock down price.

  6. I have just found my grandparents marriage certificate, dated 12th August 1911. My grand mother,Ellen Elizabeth Bennett gave the Manchester Hotel as her address.I seem to remember being told she had been a hotel matron/domestic manager.Is there any way of finding any proof of this?


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