Vauxhall Gardens was a pleasure garden in Kennington on the south bank of the River Thames and accessed by boat from London until the erection of Vauxhall Bridge in the 1810s. The wider area was absorbed into the metropolis as the city expanded in the early to mid-19th century.It was one of the leading venues for public entertainment in London, from the mid-17th century to the mid-19th century. Originally known as 'New Spring Gardens', the site is believed to have opened before the Restoration of 1660, the first known 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 for its many attractions. The Gardens drew all manner of people and supported enormous crowds, with its paths being noted for romantic assignations. Tightrope walkers, hot-air balloon ascents, concerts and fireworks provided entertainment. 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. A statue depicting George Frederic Handel, erected in the Gardens, later found its way to Westminster Abbey. In 1817 the Battle of Waterloo was re-enacted, with 1,000 soldiers participating.It closed in 1840 after its owners suffered bankruptcy, but re-opened in 1841. It changed hands in 1842, and was permanently closed in 1859. The land was redeveloped in the following decades, but slum clearance in the late 20th century saw part of the original site opened up as a public park. This was initially called Spring Gardens and renamed in 2012 as Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. It is managed as a public park by the London Borough of Lambeth. Vauxhall Gardens is depicted in a tile motif at Vauxhall tube station, done in about 1971 by George Smith.To visit Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens on your trip to London, use our London trip planner.
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Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens Reviews
Stumbled upon the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens while walking in the area and searching for a cafe. It’s a green space amidst the hustle and bustle around Vauxhall. Surrounded by housing estates, it’s..... more »
First time in the pleasure gardens and it’s a fantastic green space, was here for Black Pride and I was thoroughly impressed with this well kept beautiful space more »
Lovely place to relax on a warm summer’s day. Very close to transport links and Vauxhall farm so it’s good for quick picnics. Especially nice when events are held there.
Went to a meeting in vauxhall on a scorching hot day in August. Meeting went well, afterwards I needed time to relax and get my thoughts together...that's when I found this delightful little park. It has stables for horses of all things. And spectacular views of the city. I found a space amongst the office workers enjoying lunch and relaxed whilst getting my thoughts together. Lovely open space with plenty of activities for adults and children.
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