Vauxhall, so frequently mentioned, does not seem to have been in existence before Charles the Second's reign, and is often called Fox Hall by old writers.
The first mention is in 1661, and from that time until 1712 it was quite a fashionable place of entertainment; but it suffered a temporary eclipse until 1732, when a man of the name of Tyers took it and reopened it with an Italian fête.
He had spent great sums of money on it, enlarging it and adding much to its attractions. Hogarth is said to have painted the decorations of some of the rooms, which were afterwards removed when they were pulled down; and Roubilliac carved a statue of Handel.
The chief attractions were the lights and the music, and there were a number of sideshows. The gardens were long a favourite spot for nightingales. It long continued a very fashionable place of amusement, and the Royal family frequently visited it.
Walpole, in his letters to Montague, gives a very graphic description of a night at Vauxhall: the hours then kept were very late, for it was nearly 3 a.m. before he got home. It died almost in our own times of inanition, and the whole site is now thickly covered with houses.Next page: Ranelagh