Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens is a medium-sized park located in the middle of Vauxhall, providing a green get-away and a home to Vauxhall City Farm.
The park is located on what was the site of the original ‘Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens’, a privately managed ‘entertainment venue’ first laid out in 1661 and which reached its maximum popularity in the early 19th Century. The Gardens were very popular and commercially successful, with dining, visual arts, and live music, and became a magnet for Londoners and tourists from all classes and backgrounds. It was a place to see and be seen at, with famous names such as Handel, Casanova, Pepys and Rossini all being noted as visiting or mentioning it in diaries.
The Gardens finally closed in 1859 after their popularity declined with changing tastes, and the site was used for housing. After the Second World War the site was cleared of housing and laid out as a public open space, known as Spring Gardens, with a network of paths, grass mounds and trees.
The site has recently benefited from significant investment which resulted in not only it being renamed ‘Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens’, but improvements in appearance, access, landscape and biodiversity. This includes a multi-use games area with associated lighting, new tree planting, upgraded paths and areas of meadow grassland, many containing swathes of colourful spring-flowering bulbs.
The entrance onto Kennington Lane celebrates the spirit of the original Pleasure Gardens, with two large, monumental columns framing views into and out of the site, which are topped by two outline figures in 17th Century dress.
Part of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens is also home to the outdoor paddocks for Vauxhall City Farm, based alongside Tyers Street on the eastern side of the site, which is used for their horses and other livestock.
Vauxhall Pleasure gardens, along with Vauxhall City Farm, is also a Local "Site of Importance for Nature Conservation" (or SINC) for the London Borough of Lambeth, in recognition of its importance not just for wildlife, but also for people living in both Lambeth and London to enjoy access to nature.
Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens is one of Lambeth's Green Flag Award-winning parks, as well as a holder of ‘Park of the Year’ award from London In Bloom. These awards recognise the achievements made to provide visitors to and residents of Lambeth with a clean, safe, welcoming and popular open space they can all be proud of.
Other useful information
Friends of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens (FoVPG) - Friends of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens
Vauxhall City Farm - Vauxhall City Farm
Green Flag Award – Green Flag Award
London in Bloom - London In Bloom