The large open space here represented is one of the great centres of metropolitan traffic, and may be regarded as the very heart of that of the West End, being within a quarter of a mile of practically all the clubs and theatres, and crossed by omnibus lines to all parts, with a number of important thoroughfares converging upon it. Our view looks down Coventry Street towards Leicester Square. On the left is the London Pavilion, and on the right the Criterion Theatre and Restaurant. In the foreground, at the beginning of Shaftesbury Avenue, is the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain, designed by Mr. A. Gilbert, R.A., and remarkable among the monuments of the Metropolis for its daring symbolism.
source: The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896