The Leysian Mission first founded. Its original building was situated off White Cross Street.


The Leysian Mission organisation moved to it moves to the slightly larger premises in 12 Errol Street.


Tea magnate and philanthropist Thomas Lipton opened the Alexandra Hall Dining Trust, next door to the future Leysian Mission on City Road. Operated as a trust, it provided affordable hot meals to the poor. Spread over three floors, some 100 waitresses could serve up to 12,000 meals per day. The building still exists today, but is not used.

1900 Spring

The Errol Street Trustees and the Executive Committee of the Leysian Mission agree to acquire a plot on City Road, almost at the junction with Old Street, at a cost of £36,400 for the purposes of erecting a building to shift the crowded Errol Street mission to.

1900 December

Architects Bradshaw & Gass of Bolton are selected to draw up the plan and design for the new Mission building.


Work underway to build the new Leysian Mission. “The City and Hoxton, Shoreditch and Finsbury converge from their four points to the Leysian Hall corner as a centre,” the annual report recorded a decade later.

1904 February

The Northern City Line platforms opens at Old Street Station by the Great Northern & City Railway, with the station first opened in November 1901 by City & South London Railway.

1904 July 11th

The new Leysian Mission is inaugurated in the presence of THRH the Prince and Princess of Wales (later King George V & Queen Mary). Also attending were The Duke of Devonshire, Sir George Chubb, Sir Thomas Lipton, Sir Horace Marshall and many others. There is a special “Opening and Dedication of the Organ, which was erected in the Queen Victoria Hall, at a cost of £1,600.”


The Leysian Mission Balance Sheet records £58,955 17s. 10d. in assets and the same amount in liabilities, of which over £18,000 are Bank Overdraft as the Mission absorbs the cost of the building.


The number of men, women and children who enter the mission each Sunday is estimated “is as nearly as possible 5,000,” the annual report states.


Membership stands at 1,129 with the Working Men’s Club “billiard and bagatelle” being particularly popular social activity in the building, attracting 150 members. “They can come straight from the factory if they like and have some refreshment at the Coffee Bar at moderate prices,” the annual report notes.


Construction begins on nine large blocks of social housing across the road (still there today) that would house 500 families.


Membership falls from 1,175 to 1,110, and attendance for the Saturday evening concerts is also down, partly “owing to the competition offered by Picture Palaces” that had sprung up as the cinema craze took hold.


The Mission has a staff of 106 officers and teachers in the building, who amongst other things canvass nearly 3,500 homes per week, or more than 150,000 visits in a year.

1912 September 30th

Records note that a grant was made to the ‘Titanic Relief Fund’ of £2 5s. and 6d.


Infant mortality in the Shoreditch stands at 128 babies per 1,000 born [today it is 4.5 for the UK], which is nearly 50 per cent higher than the average for London. “At our door, within a half-mile radius from our big red block of buildings, there lives a population of about 100,000, almost all on the border-line of poverty, and many far within its pale,” the Annual Report comments.


Since the war commenced members of the Royal Field Artillery, the Royal Fusiliers and of one company of the National Reserves have been made honorary members and a good number have taken advantage of this privilege,” the Annual Report notes, in relationmrelation to the start of the Great War, aka the First World War.


Conditions were tough in the wake of the Great War, with many returning servicemen depending on the Leysian Mission for help.


Shops listed in the front of the building include Boots Cash Chemists (Southern) Ltd (104 & 106 City Rd), Mitchell Mrs Florence, confectioner (110 City Rd), Cordingley & Mills, engineers (110 city Rd), Cheverton & Co, stationers and Post & Money Order Office & Savings Bank (both 120 City Road).


The Annual Report notes that “Hoxton is the crime-centre of London. Drunkenness backens many thousands of homes. Prostitution and immorality are widespread ; sexual decencies can scarcely be preserved in a life so overcrowded.”

1926 December 5th

Silver Jubilee of the Leysian Missioin. “On that memorable day a beautiful Chapel provided by the munificence of of Mr. J. Arthur Rank was opened by his wife,” the Annual Report notes. Rank was a devout Methodist, flour king, Treasurer of the Building and future British film mogul.


The Old Leysian Hostel “loftily situated on the Mission premises” is re-decorated, and offers the Old Leysians a residence near the City for £2 per week, “and this includes breakfast, evening dinner, and all meals on Sunday.”


The Annual Report provides detailed explanation and drawings of all the activities in the building. “The Mission is a peculiar place,” it notes. “Few people who pass by its premises in the City Road ever dream that so much is hidden away behind and underneath the street frontage.”

1936 March

The Laysian Mission celebrates its Golden Jubilee, though still “hampered by a debt of £15,000, part of which comes down from the time we put up this building,” the Annual Report laments. The Treasurer, Mr Arthur Rank, pledges “that for every £2 we can raise, he will add another £1,” to help pay off the debt.


The Leysian Mission was damaged severely on four occasions by Luftwaffe bomb raids (the Blitz) during the Second World War. The Great Victoria Hall was destroyed, including the famous organ, which had been due to be removed for safekeeping. The North Wing was also destroyed and shrapnel damage can still discerned where marble sections were replaced by the entrance.

1949 April 6th

Mr Owen Owen, Senior Circuit Steward and one of the most influential figures of the Mission passes away.


The decision is taken to re-build the bombed out Great Hall, but on a smaller scale, seating 1,500 people.

1955 June 6th

The Queen Victoria Hall is re-opened, following extensive renovation following bomb damages in the war, by H.M. the Queen Mother.


Old Street Station is modified from the surface station to the current sub-surface structure, situated at the centre of the newly constructed roundabout that abolished the old Old Street-City Road intersection.


The Leysian Mission building is granted Grade II Listed status.


The Leysian Mission’s congregation is united with Wesley's Chapel on City Road to form Wesley's Chapel and Leysian Centre. The Leysian Mission building is closed, a victim of the success of the welfare state that took over most of its welfare functions.


The Independent newspaper reports that St Mungo’s Association, which took over the mission building and ran a hostel for homeless people (and their animals) faced closure the following year when the government stops funding for a third of the homeless hostels.


The Leysian Mission building is converted by architects BWCP, into 30 flats, 30 multi-level lofts and nine shop units, through a redesign that respects the historic layout of the building. Re-named Imperial Hall, it is one of the first residential schemes in the area. Two further flats are added a few years later.


Imperial Hall’s dome is protected as a landmark in Islington’s UDP.


Dopplr’s Matt Biddulph coins the term ‘Silicon Roundabout’, defined as "the ever-growing community of fun startups in London's Old Street area". He also created a Google Map the that provided an overview of the relevant firms in the area.


Wired magazine charts 85 startup companies in the Shoreditch area, with Imperial Hall clearly visible on the aerial photo accompanying the article.


Plans to help accelerate the growth of the "Tech City" were announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in a speech given in east London on 4 November 2010. The Tech City Investment Organisation (TCIO) was set up in April 2011 as part of UK Trade and Investment.


The residents of Imperial Hall take over the running of the building through the RTM (Right To Manage) Imperial Hall Company.


A Collective Enfranchisement action to acquire the Freehold of the building is launched by the residents.


The residents of Imperial Hall complete the purchase of the Freehold of the building.


The 110th anniversary of the inauguration of the Leysian Mission/Imperial Hall building.