Spring Gardens

49, Charing Cross (SW1) For long the centre and mainspring of London civic business, Spring Gardens was formerly a royal pleasaunce of the Palace of Whitehall. Here, in Charles I's time, were archery-butts, a bowling-green, and a bathing pond, a maze, and many quaint devices of that day. Here the stroller in the garden near the original spring from which the name was derived might tread casually on a piece of turf and be deluged by jets of water from pipes cunningly hidden there, or approaching a sundial to learn the hour meet with a similar fate. But long before the Metropolitan Board of Works and the London County Council made their headquarters here, and at and subsequent to the days of the watery jokes, Spring Gardens had many famous residents, among them Prince Rupert, Philip Earl of Chesterfield, Colley Cibber, George Canning, the Earl of Malmesbury, the Earls of Berkeley. Here Pepys walked and his wife's maids picked flowers. But there was nothing to eat, and Pepys and his party, much disgusted, went to the rival plate of entertainment, Vauxhall.