Few spots in London have such interesting associations as Leicester Square. It takes its name from Leicester House, more than once the residence of royalty; and Leicester Fields, as the place used to be styled, were a favourite resort of duellists. From early in the seventeenth century foreigners have patronised the Square. The figure of Shakespeare is a replica by Fontana of Kent's statue in Westminster Abbey; and on the pedestal is recorded the fact that the Fields were bought, laid out, and conveyed to the public by Baron Albert Grant, MP. At the angles of the garden are busts of Hunter, Newton, Reynolds, and Hogarth, who lived in or near the Square. The building on the east side is the Alhambra Theatre of Varieties. The red-brick house to the right, with a parapet, is Archbishop Tenison's Grammar School.
source: The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896