Victorian London - Entertainment and Recreation - Theatre and Shows - Dioramas and Panoramas - Panorama, Leicester Square

Panorama, Burford's, Leicester Square ... open every day, Sunday excepted, from 11 till dusk. Admission to each view 1s.

Burford's Panorama - Among the various attractive exhibitions of London, is that belonging to Mr. Burford, situated at the Eastern corner of Leicester Square, where a series of unrivalled productions, from the pencil of that distinguished painter, afford a truly gratifying treat to the curious in topographical delineation. There are, generally, two views of celebrated places; admission to each view, 1s., and catalogues 6d.

Mogg's New Picture of London and Visitor's Guide to it Sights, 1844

PANORAMA, LEICESTER SQUARE, was built by Robert Barker, (d. 1806), inventor of the species of exhibition which gives its name to the building. The exhibitions at the Panorama are always among the most pleasing novelties of the London season. The paintings are changed every year.

Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850

PANORAMA, Leicester Square, is an exhibition of ancient reputation. Paintings of the best description of scenic art are to be seen in this building, by the payment of ls. each being made to either the upper or lower circle. Separate views of objects in each.

London Exhibited in 1852


To see Sebastopol it is not necessary to go abroad it is enough to travel to the foreign quarter of London only. This journey has been performed by ourselves. We have been to see MR. BURFORD'S Panorama of Sebastopol in Leicester Square, and recommend all our readers who are within reach of it to do themselves the same pleasure. The London "season" being now over, there are few places either of instruction or entertainment remaining, open, and this is a place of both. Moreover, as Rank and Fashion have for the most part left Town, the possibility of seeing all that is to be seen in the Panorama - to wit:, very much - is likely to be increased by some diminution of the hitherto attendant crowd of the nobility, gentry, and clergy. There will be less danger than there has been heretofore of having one a corns crushed by a duke, of being hustled by an earl, or elbowed about and squeezed by peeresses and maids-of-honour, the bulk of a bishop being, in the meanwhile, interposed between one's eye and the canvas. However, to secure a good view of the exhibition, it may be advisable to go early in the morning, while Rank and Fashion are at breakfast, or late in the afternoon when Rank and Fashion are at dinner.
    Sebastopol is depicted as firing and under fire, and the first impression derived from the view of the beleaguered city, presented by MR. BURFORD, is that of astonishment at the preternatural stillness, comparatively speaking, of the scene. Comparatively speaking, because a considerable noise is being made by MRS. MAJOR M'GAB, or some other military lady, who is sure to be present, and to be explaining the positions of the Allies with commanding gestures, in a loud voice. Astonishment, because the picture has such an air of reality, and the smoke of the bombardment looks so particularly natural, as to make you wonder at not bearing the artillery's roar and the crack of the rifles.
The visitor finds himself situated, with reference to the Crimea, precisely as, with allowance for change of circumstances, he would be with regard to London if he were on the top of St. Paul's: except that the objects below him do not seem so distant, and that the smoke of the ordnance does not obscure the prospect like the smoke of the chimneys. He sees the hays and harbours that surround the Crimean coast, the Allied Fleets, the enemy's vessels, as many as have not been sunk, and the mast-heads of those; and all the forts and batteries - the Mamelon, Malakhoff, Redan, Flagstaff, Quarantine, Constantine, Nicholas, Alexander, Star, and so forth: also the encampments of the Allies and the head-quarters of the Generals, together with a number of other objects which, recalled to his mind's eye, will enable him to read the Times every morning with the advantage of illustrations.
There is somebody present (besides MRS. M'GAB) who will oblige the company with any information they may desire in reference to the particulars of the Panorama.
It is not too much to say, that those who visit MR. BURFORD'S Sebastopol will see more of that City than they would if they we stationed before the CZAR'S: for the Panorama was painted some little time ago, since when a great many of the buildings represented in it have been demolished: and we hope the time will very soon come when the only correct picture of Sebastopol will be the accurate likeness of certain heaps of rubbish.
There is one very important difference between the prospect of Sebastopol held out by MR. BURFORD, and that afforded by the Government - and paid for by the tax-payers. The Downing Street one is rather expensive: that in Leicester Square will cost nobody more than a shilling. 

Punch, August 25, 1855