Gardens for entertainment
Vauxhall Gardens in the late 1740s had many delights. The gardens were situated just east of Vauxhall Bridge. They were first laid out around 1661 and were known as New Spring Gardens. However, it wasn't until 1732 when Jonathan Tyers took charge that the park became an elegant 'pleasure garden' where 'polite' society would meet.
The place to be seen
Tyers transformed the gardens. He added a music room, Chinese pavilion, gothic orchestra stand and numerous arches and temples. The many statues included one of the composer Handel, who often performed there. Tyers put in grand avenues where the fashionable could promenade. There were over one hundred supper boxes, each painted with a mural, where dinner could be served.
Many extravaganzas were performed at Vauxhall Gardens. These included a rehearsal of Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks in 1749. The gardens provided entertainment until the mid-19th century, when they went into a gradual decline.
Museum number 53.52/5