VAUXHALL PARK Going east from Battersea the next Park is Vauxhall, a small oasis of green in a crowded district. Although only 8 acres in extent, it is a great boon to the neighbourhood, and hundreds of children play there everyday. It has been open since 1891, the land, occupied by houses with gardens, having been acquired and the houses demolished, and the little Park is owned and kept up by Lambeth Borough Council.
It has nothing to do with the famous Vauxhall Gardens, to which the rank and fashion of the town flocked for nearly two hundred years; and the country visitor to Vauxhall Park could hardly speak of it in such glowing terms as Farmer Colin to his wife in 1741 of the famous Vauxhall Spring Gardens:- " O Mary ! soft in feature, I've been at dear Vauxhall; No paradise is sweeter, Not that they Eden call. "Methought, when first I entered, Such splendours round me shone, Into a world I ventured Where rose another sun."
The site of these Gardens, which covered some twelve acres with groves, avenues, dining-halls, the famous Rotunda and caverns, cascades and pavilions, is now all built over. It lay about as far to the south-east of Vauxhall Bridge as the little Park is to the south-west. In name Vauxhall sounds quaint and un-English. In earlier times it was known as Foxhall, or more correctly Foukeshall, from Foukes de Breant, who married a sister of Archbishop Baldwin in the latter half of the twelfth century.