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, […]
Miriam Al Jamil has kindly given The Vauxhall Society her 2013 King’s College, London dissertation on how children are portrayed in the art of Vauxhall Gardens and in that of the Foundling Hospital*. *© Miriam Al Jamil Among the many fascinating insights Al Jamil explores is the role of this tiny Vauxhall Gardens copper ‘season […]
As soon as the great pleasure garden of Vauxhall Gardens closed its doors for the final time after the ‘Last Night Forever’ on 25 July 1859, the twelve-acre site was cleared of all traces of the entertainments that had stood on that spot since the Restoration. One of the reasons why Vauxhall closed when it […]
By 1821 Vauxhall Gardens had lost their lustre. Takings were down, and the attractions had become stale. Cash-strapped customers were getting less value for money from their food and drink. ‘ Supper was a perfect abomination,’ recalled Lord William Lennox, military aide to the Duke of Wellington. Fortunately, an entrepreneur who had pioneered modern advertising […]
David Coke and Alan Borg, Vauxhall Gardens, A History. Yale University Press, London, 2011. ISBN 978-0-300-17382-6 Not long back, two curious columns sprang up at the southern entrance to Vauxhall Spring Gardens, the modern and, let’s be honest, pathetic equivalent to the celebrated Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. As readers may know, these fat, black, shiny monoliths […]