Friday, March 15, 2013

Spring Gardens x 2 (or more!)

I was confused. I read of 'Spring Gardens' in the vicinity of Vauxhall. And then I read of 'Spring Gardens' in the vicinity of Charing Cross. Research was undoubtedly called for.

I discovered fairly quickly that Vauxhall Gardens below were known originally as the New Spring Gardens.
They were named after the Old Spring Gardens which were located in the vicinity of Charing Cross. The following details are excerpted from
Survey of London: volume 20: St Martin-in-the-Fields, pt III: Trafalgar Square & Neighbourhood 
the Spring Garden, formed, probably, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth in the north-east corner of St. James's Park as an addition to the pleasure grounds of Whitehall Palace.
The garden had become a semi-public pleasure ground before the end of James I's reign.
The Spring Gardens' history was variable during the Civil War and the Restoration. It was closed and re-opened according to the whims and consciences of the reformers. Then,
At the Restoration the "garden" ceased to be such except in name, for the greater part was divided up into plots and let on lease.
Entrance to the Mall, Spring Gardens
Entrance to the Mall, Spring Gardens by Thomas Rowlandson
Construction and redevelopment of the area continued for many years particularly after Whitehall Palace burned and was not replaced, and government offices expanded.
For close on a century [circa 1730-1830] Spring Gardens, as it came to be called, remained a fashionable quarter inhabited mainly by politicians and civil servants. Among the many well-known residents may be mentioned Sir Roger Newdigate, the antiquary and founder of the Newdigate prize for English verse, Admiral Sir Charles Saunders, Lord Frederick Campbell, Patrick Delaney, D.D., the friend of Sheridan and Swift, George Canning, the 1st Earl of Malmesbury, diarist, and Henry Addington, Lord Sidmouth.
By the mid-nineteenth century, residences and and government buildings had obliterated the Spring Gardens site. All that remains today is "the little thoroughfare which lies behind the southwest frontage to Charing Cross".

During my research, I also learned that "Spring Gardens" was a relatively common name for pleasure gardens--the Spring Gardens in Bath were a well-known diversion. So don't be confused by the name--it's everywhere.

'Til next time,

Next week, returning guest blogger Regina Scott will discuss Easter traditions during the Regency. Regina Scott is the author of twenty-four works of Regency-set romance.  Her March release, The Heiress’s Homecoming, received a Top Pick from RT Book Reviews and was mentioned in USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog.  You can learn more about her work at, learn more about the Regency at the blog she shares with young adult author Marissa Doyle, or get to Regina better on her Facebook page

No comments: