Sunday, August 2, 2020

1844 Vauxhall Guidebook

Vauxhall C H Simpson Esqr. MCRGV 1833 by I. Robert Cruikshank William Kidd C. H. Simpson, Master of Ceremonies of the Royal Gardens Vauxhall, aged 63

Mogg's New Picture of London and Visitor's Guide to it Sights, 1844

Vauxhall Gardens ... from the want of patronage, have sadly suffered and the season, from the same cause, is rendered somewhat irregular. It may, however, be. generally stated, as commencing about the first week in June, and concluding the last week in August. The diversity of the entertainments have also altered the prices, that now vary according to the performances, from 1s. to 3s.

Vauxhall Gardens. - The time when this enchanting place of amusement was first opened for the entertainment of the public is not easy to be ascertained; but in the reign of Queen Anne it appears to have been a place of great public resort; for in the Spectator, No. 383. dated May 20. 1712, Mr. Addison has introduced his friend Sir Roger de Coverley, as accompanying him in a voyage from the Temple Stairs to Vauxhall, then termed Spring Gardens. The season commences in June, and terminates in August

On the right of the entrance is a grand quadrangle, called the Grove; it is surrounded with walks, planted with trees, and at the outer extremity are boxes for the accommodation of supper parties; in the centre is the orchestra, a magnificent Gothic temple, richly ornamented; it contains an excellent organ, and here, in fine weather, a concert of vocal and instrumental music is performed; facing the orchestra, is a pavilion of the Composite order, sixty feet in length, called the Prince's Gallery, in compliment to the late Prince of Wales, who, in times gone past, was in the habit of frequenting these gardens, and supping here. The ascent to this is by a double flight of steps, under a fine portico; behind it is an extensive supper-room. The Rotunda is a noble room, sixty-seven feet in diameter; this is fitted up as a theatre, and here concerts are occasionally, and vaudevilles, generally, performed. The whole is splendidly illuminated, and, in addition to concerts and a variety of entertainments, the performance is concluded by a brilliant display of fireworks. Balloon ascents have been added to the amusements of Vauxhall, and, during the two last seasons, are generally considered to have materially advanced the interest of the proprietors.