The Victorian pavilion shown in the photograph was built in 1866 when Victoria Park was still the site of Leicester racecourse. Besides providing a considerably improved vantage point, it allowed spectators to avoid the crowds (who could become rowdy and unpredictable).
After the race course moved to Oadby in 1883, it provided a viewpoint for other sporting contests (such as cricket matches) and displays, changing facilities for sportsmen and rooms which could be hired for events (much like a conference venue today).
Unfortunately, after 74 years of use it was badly damaged by a parachute mine dropped by the Luftwaffe on 20th November 1940 which landed a few fee from the north-eastern corner. During 1942 a temporary wooden pavilion was erected to provide sports changing facilities and a café.
It was finally replaced by the present pavilion in 1958.