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The Queen's Theatre, Spring Gardens, Manchester

Formerly - The Theatre Royal, New Theatre Royal, New Amphitheatre (Bradbury’s), New Pavilion, Royal Minor Theatre, Fountain Street, Manchester

See Also: The Queen's Theatre, Bridge Street

Manchester Theatres Index

A Watercolour showing the Theatre Royal, Fountain Street, Manchester - By George Richmond August 2016.

Above - A Watercolour showing the Theatre Royal, Fountain Street, Manchester - By George Richmond August 2016. The painting has been created from a photograph in the book 'Red Plush and Gilt' by Joyce Knowlson. George Richmond says 'The image shows the building as built in 1775 until the fire of 1789.' Click for an Index to all of George Richmond's Paintings on this site.

A Poster for the Queen's Theatre, Spring Gardens, Manchester advertising: 'The Wreck of the Royal George' and 'Yew Tree Ruins or, The Wreck, the Mirer, & the Murderer.' - Courtesy Trevor J Dudley. The Queen's Theatre, Spring Gardens was the last incarnation of a series of Theatres that had been constructed on the site since its original opening as the Theatre Royal in 1755. The Theatre was situated on the corner of Spring Gardens and Fountain Street, with its main entrance originally on Fountain Street. This early Theatre Royal was destroyed by fire however, in 1789.

The exterior walls mostly survived the 1789 fire and the Theatre was then rebuilt internally, and altered externally, and reopened under the name of the New Theatre Royal in 1791.

The Theatre ran under the New Theatre Royal name until 1809 when it was renamed the New Amphitheatre, followed by a succession of other names. The name would revert back to the Theatre Royal again later however, and it was whilst under this name, and owned by Robert Roxby, that the Theatre burnt down again, on the morning of Tuesday May the 7th 1844, see image from the Illustrated London News of the 11th of May 1844 shown below left.

Right - A Poster for the Queen's Theatre, Spring Gardens, Manchester advertising: 'The Wreck of the Royal George' and 'Yew Tree Ruins or, The Wreck, the Mirer, & the Murderer.' - Courtesy Trevor J Dudley.

The Theatre Royal, Fountain Street fire of 1844 - From the Illustrated London News of the 11th of May 1844.Subsequently rebuilt and eventually renamed the Queen's Theatre, with its Main Entrance now situated on Spring Gardens instead of Fountain Street, the Theatre was to have a relatively short life in this incarnation as it was closed on March the 16th 1869 having been sold by auction. The Theatre was demolished shortly afterwards, and a warehouse was then built on the site. A new Theatre called the New Queen's Theatre was then constructed the following year on Bridge Street, Manchester. The Bridge Street Queen's Theatre had formerly been known as the London Music Hall, and then the Royal Amphitheatre & Circus, before its reconstruction as the Queen's Theatre.

There is more information on the owner of the Queen's Theatre, Spring Gardens, and its eventual demolition further down on this page. During the Theatre's demolition a Spring was found 15 feet under the stage revealing why the Spring Gardens name had come into existence.

A Watercolour showing the Queen's Theatre, Fountain Street, Manchester - By George Richmond August 2016.

Above - A Watercolour showing the Queen's Theatre, Fountain Street, Manchester - By George Richmond August 2016. The painting has been created from a photograph in the book 'Red Plush and Gilt' by Joyce Knowlson. George Richmond says 'This image shows the building as it was reconstructed in 1790 / 91. It would seem that some of the original building was reused, the front and rear gables being extended, the front one being similar to the original, and the centre section of the street wall being retained, although modified in respect of some plaster decoration. My painting has the sold notice on the wall as the building was sold by auction and demolished in 1869.' Click for an Index to all of George Richmond's Paintings on this site.

A Poster for the farewell performance of the actor G. V. Brooke at the Queen's Theatre, Spring Gardens, Manchester in June 1854 - Courtesy Al Dutton.A visitor to the site, Joanne Flack, has kindly sent in the following information regarding the Queen's Theatre, Spring Gardens saying:- 'The Queen's Theatre, Manchester was owned by my Great Great Grandfather, Joseph Nadin, the Deputy Constable of Manchester. He left the Theatre to his family, including his grandchildren. It was sold by his son in 1869 for £17,500. His son Joseph was the manager for a number of years, and later his grandson Joseph was the manager."'

Right - A Poster for the farewell performance of the actor G. V. Brooke at the Queen's Theatre, Spring Gardens, Manchester in June 1854 - Courtesy Al Dutton. Joseph Nadin can be seen as the Lessee of the Theatre at the time, with F. B. Egan as its Manager.

Letter from Eliza Nadin to her son John in Candelo NSW Australia, 11 Jul 1867:

"You see we have not got things settled about your Grandfathers and Fathers, we do expect before Christmas. To think we may say the Theatre is sold £17,500. Your Grandfather had 8 shares for his grandchildren and your dear Father had 2 shares which comes to me with the house and all his money, for my life, and your Aunty, "

Letter from Eliza Nadin to her son John in Candelo NSW Australia 28. Dec 1868 (Bob and Joe are her sons)

Bob is very well and we are very happy together and very good. He goes to the Theatre with Joe every night and day performances. A person, the name of Weston, has taken it this winter and doing very well. I wish it was sold for their sakes it is such a tie for them. We have had £17000 offered for it but we want £18000 I think we shall get it. All send their very best love to you all wishing you a merry Christmas and Happy New Year. And remain Dear Jack Your Ever Affect. Mother Eliza Nadin.

Letter from Tom Nadin to his brother John, Candelo NSW 22 Apr 1869.

I enclose an account of the last of the Old Queens Theatre; it is almost down to the ground and warehouse spring up in its place. I feel I have lost one of my limbs, to think we don’t own the old place. We got the enormous sum of £17,500 and it would have been sold years ago for £10,000 if it had not been for poor Old Father who was most determined not to let it for at any thing like that. The Taylor’s presented Joe with a beautiful Time Piece for his attention to the place since the Governors death. It was a touching meeting.

The above text and letters were kindly sent in by Joanne Flack.

The Spring Gardens Queen's Theatre closed on March the 16th 1869 having been sold by auction. It was demolished shortly afterwards, and a warehouse was then built on the site. A new Theatre called the New Queen's Theatre was then constructed the following year on Bridge Street, Manchester. The Bridge Street Theatre had formerly been known as the London Music Hall, and then the Royal Amphitheatre & Circus, before its reconstruction as the New Queen's Theatre.

If you have any more information or images for this Theatre you are willing to share please Contact me.

Other Pages that may be of Interest