BBC Music Magazine
Venue of the month
The UK’S best concert halls
Where: Hanley, Stoke-on-trent Opened: 1888
Amid the celebrations for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887, the Stoke Town Hall Committee commissioned ‘a room capable of holding a larger number of people than any existing building in the district’. The following year the Victoria Hall was officially opened with a twoday festival of speeches and recitals on the spectacular organ. Originally, the room seated 2,800 people, but when wooden benches were replaced with seating, the number was reduced to the 1,467 seats of today. Thanks to the timber-framed elliptical ceiling, the hall has superb acoustics, often described as one of the best in the country for a venue of its size.
In 1999 the hall was involved in a major Cultural Quarter renovation project which saw a glass extension added, housing a new entrance with information desk and a café. The Victoria Hall enjoys regular visits from the Hallé and BBC Philharmonic orchestras, and also hosts organ proms once a month. Beyond the classical music world it is also used for one-off events such as the Yamato Drummers of Japan, pop and comedy shows, and regularly for local school concerts and youth orchestras.