MUSEUM OF LONDON
Friday, April 9, 2010, 13:00 - 13:45
FREE but please book in advance: 020 7001 9844
Pleasure gardens were - for the most part - built on the borders of London in the 17th/18th century (Marylebone and Islington were popular areas) to provide a range of outdoor amusements. The astonishingly long-lived Vauxhall Gardens (1661-1859) is the most famous - but it had a rival in Cremorne Gardens (1836-77) across the river in Chelsea.
Cremorne had something of a split personality. By day, it was a respectable park / theme-park, with fun-fair shows and amusements (American-style bowling alleys, a maze, a fortune-telling 'hermit' ... I'll spare you the full list). By night, however, it was (so moralists claimed) a notorious den of vice. A typical Cremorne bill of fare can be seen on the right of this blog. If you would like to know more, then come to my talk, where we will discuss, in passing, the Beckwith Frogs; the Italian Salamander; De Groot, the Flying Man (& his terrible demise) and the unfortunate end of Cremorne itself.