by David E. Coke Amongst the many extraordinary facts about 19th century London, one stands out as almost unbelievable – an urban myth, you might think. How could the world record for manned-flight distance possibly have been set by a flight from Vauxhall – in 1836, the year before Queen Victoria came to the throne? Yet […]
The world authority on Vauxhall Gardens, David Coke, is the author of vauxhallhistory.org’s latest picture feature on the ‘Royal Vauxhall Balloon’. And what a story David has to tell. Who would believe that a manned flight distance world record was set in 1836? Or that the record stood for another eight decades? That’s not a […]
Vauxhall, or ‘Voho’ in estate-agent’s patter (the ‘Soho’ of the south bank), attracts gay people both as a place to live and for the clubs and bars that surround the site of what was once the Vauxhall Gardens open-air resort (1661–1858). One notable event in the history both of the Gardens and of the capital’s […]
David Coke, co-author with Alan Borg of Vauxhall Gardens: A History, will lead ‘The Heyday of Vauxhall Gardens’, a Vauxhall Society/vauxhallhistory.org guided walk, on Monday 4 September 2017. The walk marks the traditional end of the season for this world-famous open-air attraction. Kick-off for this Lambeth Heritage walk (an hour or so long) is 2.30pm sharp, […]
In the 18th century (and until 1859), Vauxhall Gardens was home to an outdoor organ so mighty that it could be heard throughout the 11-acre open-air pleasure resort, and no doubt beyond. The organ could certainly have been heard at St Peter’s Church in Kennington Lane, had St Peter’s been there at the time, which it […]
Vauxhall has a long association with booze and boozing. There’s a story that time was called on Hardicanute, king of Denmark and of England when he died in 1042 while drinking at a wedding party around here. From 1812 the Beaufoy family counterfeited wines (legally) and brewed vinegar at what is now Regents Bridge Gardens. Beefeater […]
Conductor and harpsichordist Bridget Cunningham on how she came to record Handel at Vauxhall.
The tragic end of the balloon enthusiast who attempted a parachute descent
At the heart of Dr Johnson’s connections with this celebrated London pleasure resort, there lies a mystery, and behind that mystery lurks an enigma.
Added 13 June 2015 By David Coke The extraordinary commercial success of the re-launched Vauxhall Gardens in the middle of the 18th century encouraged other entrepreneurs to believe they could imitate it. Pleasure Gardens mushroomed all over London, around Great Britain, and then throughout the world. Most of these lesser ‘Vauxhalls’ were short-lived and, frankly, […]