Andrew Rogers on the short and chequered history of the Nine Elms Cold Store.
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.
The Vauxhall branch of the Richardson family brick-making firm made a notable contribution to the foundations of what is now the Kia Oval cricket ground.
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, […]
By Sarah Bridger A terracotta statue of Henry Fawcett, which was unveiled on Wednesday 7th June 1893 by the Archbishop of Canterbury in Vauxhall Park, mysteriously vanished in late 1959. It was designed by the celebrated Victorian sculptor George Tinworth, and donated by Sir Henry Doulton. The statue has not had a confirmed sighting since […]
Planned changes to constituency boundaries bring into focus the perennial need to define the interfaces between blocks of land at every level – be it the garden fence or the Iron Curtain. In the distant past, with much lower populations and pressure on resources, boundaries were often ill-defined zones, rather than fixed lines, and in […]
Initial plans for a Victoria line were made in 1937 but work on the first new underground line for 61 years began on 20 September 1968. It was built using new techniques including a drum digger (or rotary shield) and completed in record time. The first part (Walthamstow to Highbury and Islington) was opened in […]
By Simon Midgley Imagine if Vauxhall were to become home to a world-class museum. What would that do for the image and prosperity of the area? Well, it turns out, that’s what could have happened. Vauxhall nearly got the National Railway Museum, but it went to York instead and is now the most-visited museum outside […]
Nine Elms Station was designed by Sir William Tite as the London terminus of the London and Southampton Railway and was opened in 1838. Joseph Locke was the chief engineer of the line which was build by Thomas Brassey. Just nine days after the opening, eight special trains ran to Epsom and carried more than […]
William Lithgow’s Survey of the Civil War defences of London in early May 1643 mentions a fort at ‘Nyne Elmes’. This area was a low swampy district, which was prone to flooding and had some windmills and some willow beds. Despite its swampy setting, the area soon attracted industry with docks for wood and timber […]
In the mid 1850s the Post Office commissioned a feasibility study to investigate the possibility of a pneumatic tube system to convey packages between two offices. The study concluded that, while possible, it would have high capital and running costs – so the Post Office dropped the idea. However, on 30 June 1859 Thomas Webster […]
The following is based on an articles by Peggy Sheath published in The Vauxhall Society’s Newsletter during 1980. There were three windmills in the vicinity of Lambeth Walk. They were much used by the market gardens which helped to swell the food supplies for the ever-growing population north of the Thames in the 18th and […]
Practical use of gas was first demonstrated by William Murdock in 1792. He developed production techniques, which made commercial use practicable by 1802. In 1814 coal gas was first used for street lighting in Westminster to help prevent crime. The first gas street lamps used a simple (non-aerated) jet, which gave a poor light and […]
One of the major developments of recent years, which has profoundly affected the economic and social life of Vauxhall, is the establishment of the New Covent Garden market. It has firmly implanted itself into the local scene, providing numerous jobs and demanding new services in terms of transport, catering and cleaning. Many local residents were […]
Major A. J. Francis of Tunbridge Wells writes: “My two greats grandfather, Charles Francis, set up a cement works at Nine Elms in 1809 and was one of the earliest pioneers of that industry. He and others amalgamated at the end of the century to form the present Blue Circle Group. The Guildhall Library contains […]
Brunswick House (30 Wandsworth Road) was built by John Dawson in 1758 on about three acres of freehold land bought by his late uncle Richard Dawson in 1737 from Joseph Pratt. Originally called Belmont House, presumably after the southern boundary road then called Belmont Row or Place (now Nine Elms Lane), this three-storey grade II* […]
Vauxhall Gardens lay in an area which, at that time, was just outside Birmingham, called Duddeston. Dudda’ s tun means Dudda’s homestead but it is not known who Dudda was. In 963AD a charter was granted to one Wulfget the Thane by Eadgar, King of the Angles, Nothing is known during the next 200 years. […]
Battersea was first mentioned in 693AD as Batrices Ege and belonged to the Abbess of Barking. The name means Badric’s Island, the original site being surrounded by water or marshland. The old village was centred on Battersea Square and the area was mainly dedicated to market gardening, supplying the city of London with carrots, melons, […]
Under Charles II public entertainments were once more became fashionable and England strove to outdo the extravagances of the court of Charles’s French cousin Louis XIV. In 1661 the famous garden at Vaux-le-Visconte, designed by Andre Le Notre, was opened with a fete in honour of the young king, and in the same year the […]