Vauxhall Gardens

Gardens in/near Vauxhall, existing until 1859

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Gardens · Vauxhall · SE11 · Contributed by The Underground Map
August
24
2016
A General Prospect of Vaux Hall Gardens
Credit: Samuel Wale

Vauxhall Gardens was a pleasure garden, one of the leading venues for public entertainment from the mid 17th century to the mid 19th century.

Originally known as New Spring Gardens, the site was believed to have opened before the Restoration of 1660 with the first mention being made by Samuel Pepys in 1662.

The Gardens consisted of several acres of trees and shrubs with attractive walks. Initially, entrance was free with food and drink being sold to support the venture.

The site became Vauxhall Gardens in 1785 and admission was charged to gain its many attractions. The Gardens drew all manner of men and supported enormous crowds, with its paths being noted for romantic assignations. Tightrope walkers, hot air balloon ascents, concerts and fireworks provided amusement. The rococo Turkish tent became one of the Gardens' structures, the interior of the Rotunda became one of Vauxhall's most viewed attractions, and the chinoiserie style was a feature of several buildings.

Enormous crowds could be accommodated. In 1749 a rehearsal of Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks attracted an audience of 12,000, and in 1786 a fancy dress jubilee to celebrate the proprietor's long ownership was thronged with 61,000 revellers. Many of the best known musicians and singers of the day performed at the Gardens, for example Sophia Baddeley. In 1732, their fashionable status was confirmed by a fancy dress ball attended by Frederick, Prince of Wales. At that time access from the West End was by water, but the opening of Westminster Bridge in the 1740s made access easier though less charming.

A statue depicting George Frederic Handel was erected in the Gardens, which later found its way to Westminster Abbey. In 1817, the Battle of Waterloo was re-enacted with 1000 soldiers participating.

Vauxhall was closed in 1840 after its owners suffered bankruptcy, but re-opened in 1841. It changed hands in 1842, and was permanently closed in 1859. Vauxhall Gardens was located in Kennington on the south bank of the River Thames, which was not part of the built-up area of the metropolis until towards the end of the Gardens' existence. Part of the site is now a small public park called Spring Gardens.

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VIEW THE VAUXHALL AREA IN THE 1750s
The 1750 Rocque map is bounded by Sudbury (NW), Snaresbrook (NE), Eltham (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
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VIEW THE VAUXHALL AREA IN THE 1800s
The 1800 mapping is bounded by Stanmore (NW), Woodford (NE), Bromley (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
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VIEW THE VAUXHALL AREA IN THE 1830s
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VIEW THE VAUXHALL AREA IN THE 1860s
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VIEW THE VAUXHALL AREA IN THE 1900s
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Vauxhall

Vauxhall is an inner city area of Central London in the London Borough of Lambeth.

It is generally accepted that the etymology of Vauxhall is from the name of Falkes de Breauté, the head of King John's mercenaries, who owned a large house in the area, which was referred to as Faulke's Hall, later Foxhall, and eventually Vauxhall.

There is no mention of Vauxhall in the 1086 Domesday Book. The area formed part of the extensive Manor of South Lambeth. From various accounts three local roads, the South Lambeth Road, Clapham Road (previously called Merton Road) and Wandsworth Road (previously called Kingston Road) were ancient and well known routes to and from London. The area was flat and marshy with parts poorly drained by ditches. The area only started to be developed in the mid 18th century. Prior to this it provided market garden produce for the nearby City of London.

The area only became generally known by this name when the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens opened as a public attraction. Initially most visitors would have approached by river, but crowds of Londoners of all classes came to know the area after the construction of Westminster Bridge in the 1740s.

There are competing theories as to why the Russian word for a central railway station is vokzal, which coincides with the 19th-century transliteration of Vauxhall. It has long been suggested that a Russian delegation visited the area to inspect the construction of the London and South Western Railway in 1840, and mistook the name of the station for the generic name of the building type. The locality of the L&SWR's original railway terminus, Nine Elms Station, was shown boldly and simply as Vauxhall in the 1841 Bradshaw timetable.

Another likely explanation is that the first Russian railway, constructed in 1837, ran from Saint Petersburg via Tsarskoye Selo to Pavlovsk Palace, where extensive Pleasure Gardens had earlier been established. In 1838 a music and entertainment pavilion was constructed at the railway terminus. This pavilion was called the Vokzal in homage to the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens in London. The name soon came to be applied to the station itself, which was the gateway that most visitors used to enter the gardens. It later came to mean any substantial railway station building.

It has also given its name to the Vauxhall Motors car manufacturer, which originated in the area.

Vauxhall station was opened by the London and South Western Railway (LSWR) as 'Vauxhall Bridge Station' on 11 July 1848 when the main line was extended from Nine Elms to Waterloo, then 'Waterloo Bridge Station'. It is on a viaduct with eight platforms. The deep tube London Underground station is on the Victoria line, and opened on 23 July 1971.

Vauxhall was located next to a major creamery and milk bottling plant for United Dairies. Milk trains from all over the West Country would stop at Clapham Junction in the evening, and reduce their length by half so that they did not block Vauxhall station while unloading. They would then proceed to Vauxhall, and pull into the down side platform, where a discharge pipe was provided to the creamery on the other side of the road. There was also pedestrian access from below the station, under the road to the depot, in the tunnel where the pipeline ran. Unloaded trains would then proceed to Waterloo, where they would reverse and return to Clapham Junction to pick up the other half of the train. The procedure was then repeated, so that the entire milk train was unloaded between the end of evening peak traffic and the start of the following morning.


LOCATIONS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
Battersea Power Station:   Battersea Power Station is a future Underground station on the Northern Line.
Vauxhall:   Vauxhall is an inner city area of Central London in the London Borough of Lambeth.


PHOTOS OF THE AREA
Beet Court (1910):   Photograph of Beet Court aka Lemon Court, in 1910.
Gunner's Cottages (1910):   Gunner’s Cottages, off Salamanca Street, Lambeth 1910.
Old Red Cow:   The Old Red Cow (right of picture)
Vauxhall Station early 1900s.:   Vauxhall at the turn of the twentieth century.
York Wharf:   York Wharf, photographed in 1866.


NEARBY STREETS AND BUILDINGS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
Albert Embankment, SE1 · Albert Embankment, SE11 · Albert Embankment, SW8 · Albert Embarkment, SE1 · Albert Enbankment, SE1 · Andrew Place, SW8 · Arches Miles Street, SW8 · Arden House, SE11 · Ascalon Street, SW8 · Auckland Street, SE11 · Aveline Street, SE11 · Battersea Park Road, SW8 · Belmore Street, SW8 · Blore Close, SW8 · Bondway, SW8 · Bonnington Square, SW8 · Bowling Green Street, SE11 · Bradmead, SW8 · Bridgefoot, SW8 · Brooklands Passage, SW8 · Brooks Court, SW8 · Cardigan Street, SE11 · Carey Gardens, SW8 · Christchurch Vicarage, SW8 · Citadel Place, SE11 · Clayton Street, SE11 · Clyston Street, SW8 · Condell Road, SW8 · Coney Way, SW8 · Corunna Road, SW8 · Courtenay Square, SE11 · Courtenay Street, SE11 · Cowthorpe Road, SW8 · Crimsworth Road, SW8 · Cringle Street, SW1V · Cringle Street, SW8 · Deeley Road, SW8 · Durham Street, SE11 · Ebbisham Drive, SW8 · Elm Lane, SW8 · Farnham Royal, SE11 · Fellmongers Path, SE1 · Flower Market, SW8 · Fount Street, SW8 · Fruit And Vegetable Market, SW8 · Fruit Vegetable Market, SW8 · Glasshouse Walk, SE11 · Glyn Street, SE11 · Goding Street, SE11 · Goldsboro Road, SW8 · Goldsborough House Springfield Estate, SW8 · Graphite Square, SE11 · Grosvenor Road, SW8 · Hanover Gardens, SE11 · Hanover Gardens, SW8 · Harleyford Road, SE11 · Harleyford Road, SW8 · Harleyford Street, SE11 · Havelock Terrace Arches, SW8 · Havelock Terrace, SW8 · Hemans Street, SW8 · Hookham Court, SW8 · Imex Business Centre, SW8 · Imex Centre, SW8 · Jameson House, SE11 · Jonathan Street, SE11 · Kennington Oval, SE11 · Kirtling Street, SW8 · Knight’s Walk, SE11 · Langley Lane, SW8 · Laud Street, SE11 · Lawn Lane, SE11 · Lawn Lane, SW8 · Lilac Place, SE11 · Linford Street, SW8 · Lockington Road, SW8 · Loughborough Street, SE11 · Magee Street, SE11 · Market Towers, SW8 · Miles Street, SW8 · Minshull Street, SW8 · Montford Place, SE11 · New Covent Gard, SW8 · New Covent Garden Centre, SW8 · New Covent Garden Mar, SW8 · New Covent Garden Mark, SW8 · New Covent Garden Market, SW8 · New Covent Garden, SW8 · Newburn Street, SE11 · Nine Elms Lane, SW8 · Orsett Street, SE11 · Oval Way, SE11 · Pagden Street, SW8 · Palmerston Way, SW8 · Park Place, SW8 · Parry Street, SW8 · Pascal Street, SW8 · Patmore Street, SW8 · Pegasus Place, SE11 · Ponton Road, SW8 · Randall Road, SE11 · Riverside Walk, SW8 · Rudolf Place, SW8 · Salamanca Street, SE1 · Sancroft Street, SE11 · Savona Street, SW8 · Simpson House, SE11 · Sleaford Industrial Estate, SW8 · Sleaford Street, SW8 · South Lambeth Place, SW8 · St Oswalds Place, SE11 · St. Georges Close, SW8 · Stanley Close, SW8 · Stewart Court, SW8 · Stewarts Road, SW8 · Studios, N1 · Thames Path, SW8 · The Fosters Oval, SE11 · The Pavilion, SW8 · Thessaly Road, SW8 · Thorparch Road, SW8 · Tinworth Street, SE11 · Tun Yard, SW8 · Tyers Street, SE11 · Tyers Terrace, SE11 · Vauxhall Cross, SW8 · Vauxhall Grove, SW8 · Vauxhall Walk, SE11 · Wadhurst Road, SW8 · West Bridge, SW8 · Westminster Business Square, SE11 · Wickham Street, SE11 · Worgan Street, SE11 · Wynyard Terrace, SE11 ·


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