Long before Cardinal Place opposite the cathedral came into being there was a huge brewery (Stag Brewery) based at the western end of Victoria Street. From the early 17th century it started off as a small brewhouse with properties that once were part of St James's Palace. This then substantially grew and then was bought and owned by Watney & Co. They built lodgings around the brewery as well as amenities for their staff to use. By the end of the 19th century they were employing a sizeable number of staff. (It closed down in 1959 and was demolished. All that now remains of it is a street named Stag Place and a pub called the Stag.) Part of a slum, dubbed "Devil's Acre" by Charles Dickens, was demolished to construct Victoria Street, which opened for use in 1851. During the summer of 1857 a scheme for an independent 'Grosvenor Basin Terminus' in the West End of London, 'for the use of the Southern Railways of England' was mooted. The station was originally referred to as the 'Grosvenor Terminus' but later renamed 'Victoria' as it was sited at the end of Victoria Street. The new line followed part of the route of the Grosvenor Canal with Victoria station on the former canal basin. It required the construction of a new bridge over the Thames, originally known as Victoria Bridge and later as Grosvenor Bridge. It was of mixed gauge to cater for GWR trains.
There are two connected London Underground stations at Victoria, on different levels and built more than a century apart. The older one, on the north side of the bus station, serves the District and Circle lines, constructed by 'cut and cover' methods just below road level. The newer station, closer to the mainline station, serves the Victoria line, a deep-level 'tube' line. Each has its own ticket hall, and the two are connected by a pedestrian passage beneath the bus station. Victoria is currently the fourth busiest station on the London Underground, after Waterloo, Oxford Circus and King's Cross St. Pancras, with nearly 85 million using the station (not including interchanging passengers) in 2013, of which around 60 million (including interchanges) use the Victoria line platforms. The station was not built for this number of passengers, which results in severe overcrowding. To prevent any dangerous situations like crowds pushing people off the platforms onto the track, crowd control measures are in place at the busiest times. This effectively means closing all the entrances to the Underground platforms and operating as an exit-only station until the overcrowding is relieved. These measures can last anywhere between a couple of minutes (when minor delays are occurring) up to several hours (during major incidents). The station has toilets, escalators, payphones, wi-fi, cash machines and Euro cash machines.
Connections: National Rail. District line, Circle Line. London Buses routes 2, 11, 16, 24, 36, 38, 44, 52, 73, 82, 148, 170, 185, 211, 436, 507, C1, C2 and C10 and night routes N2, N11, N73, N44 and N136 serve the station at the Victoria bus station.