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 […]
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 […]
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 […]