Cremorne and the Later London Gardens

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Their close association lasted well into the s, Whistler favouring Walter as he was the more gifted of the two brothers. Two of his most successful images were Regatta at Hammersmith Bridge and Chelsea under Snow; like Whistler he concentrated on areas around the Thames.

He died in poverty, having been taken in by the Charterhouse. Greaves chooses to depict Whistler near the Crystal Platform. It was encrusted with ornamental pillars, gas jets, and over forty plate-glass mirrors in black frames. In the upper portion of the pagoda seen here , where the orchestra played, there were seventeen gas lit chandeliers. This particular feature of the Gardens was clearly a favourite with Greaves as he chose to depict it on several occasions, for example The Dancing Platform, Cremorne Gardens s and in an etching of this period, which depicts the same view as Whistler in the Cremorne Gardens.

In the former Whistler is depicted as the natty flaneur, striding along with and yet separate from the crowd. In the latter Whistler is seated but maintains the image of flaneur, the impartial, non-judgmental observer of contemporary life. He leans to one side to acknowledge a fellow dandy, much to the impatience of the young woman who stands at his table. Cremorne Gardens rapidly acquired a reputation as the territory of the demi-monde frequented by women of questionable morals.

His associate could buy such a woman; this is implied by his indifference towards her, the attention of the passing woman as well as the undisguised stare of the gentleman at the railing. Whistler and the Greaves family were frequent visitors before the gardens closed in Cremorne Gardens never acquired the fashionable fame of Vauxhall Gardens , and finally became so great an annoyance to some of the more influential residents in the neighbourhood that a renewal of its licence was refused, and most of the site of the gardens was soon built over.

The name survives in Cremorne Road. Donald James Wheal , in his first-person memoir of life in working-class Chelsea , World's End gives a lively account of the almost-forgotten history and destruction of Cremorne Gardens. A vestige of the gardens survives next to the Thames, just east of Lots Road power station. It is largely paved over, and there is little to suggest the grand scale of the original gardens, though it still has two attached jetties, an echo of the landing stages where visitors to the original pleasure gardens would arrive by boat.

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A Cremorne Gardens was also established in Melbourne , Australia. On 13 September Thames Water published its preferred sites for building work on its Thames Tideway super sewer. Thames Water originally proposed that an access road cut straight through Cremorne Gardens. Cremorne Gardens secured a Green Flag award for the first time in as one of the best green spaces in England.

Local Conservative Kensington and Chelsea Councillors and residents have promised to try to save the Gardens from use as an access road to build the Thames Tunnel. Phil Stride representing Thames Water stated "We are happy to work with the council to use whatever access route they can help us find. The former Waste Centre is closer to the proposed Tideway Tunnel, therefore is an alternative site for the access road.

However, Cremorne Gardens is still listed as the preferred site on the Thames Water website even though it is the Council's decision. The names of Marlborough, Blenheim, and College Street, applied to some of the streets and places hereabouts, may perhaps lead to the belief that they were so named by persons who have had to do with the Royal Hospital. It originally consisted of about thirty acres, and was enclosed with a brick wall, but this has gradually given way to the erection of buildings. Towards the beginning of the last century a manufactory for raw silk was established here, and a number of mulberry-trees were planted for the purpose, but the scheme proved unsuccessful.

Park Walk, which now crosses this locality from the King's Road to Fulham Road, appears in old maps as "Lover's Walk," and was planted with trees.

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The Religion of The Chinese. From to James Ellis, the former lessee of Cremorne, was manager. In the Chelsea Vestry had presented the first of many annual petitions against the renewal of the licence, setting forth the inconvenience of the late hours of Cremorne, the immoral character of its female frequenters, and its detrimental influence generally on the morals and house property of the neighbourhood. The proprietor of Cremorne at the time, John Baum was probably grateful the tragedy occurred outside his grounds as he already had financial troubles along with respectable citizens trying to shut down the Gardens on the grounds of immorality. Burton Watson.

It is said that the old sign was painted by George Morland, in order to liquidate a bill incurred during a residence here. In old deeds the inn is called simply "The Goat. A short distance eastward, at the corner of Upper Church Street, is the Queen's Elm Hotel, which keeps in remembrance a story traditionally told respecting the Virgin Queen.

The tavern is mentioned in the parish books of Chelsea as far back as , under the name of the Queen's Tree, and the tradition is that it derived its name from the fact of Queen Elizabeth, on her way to or from a visit to Lord Burleigh at Brompton Hall, being caught in a shower of rain, and taking shelter under the branches of a wide-spreading and friendly elm which grew on the spot.

Cremorne Pleasure Gardens: The Pleasure Principal

The Queen's Elm, it may be added, is mentioned in the parish books of Chelsea as far back as the year , where it is stated that "the tree at the end of Duke's Walk, in Chelsea parish, is called the Queen's Tree," and that "there was an arbour built round it by one Bostocke, at the charge of the parish. The Jews' burial-ground, situate at Queen's Elm, was formed, early in the present century, on a piece of land purchased for that purpose. Much of the ground hereabouts, now known as West Brompton, was in former times called the hamlet of Little Chelsea. Towards the end of the seventeenth century, Lord Shaftesbury, the author of "Characteristics," purchased an estate here.

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He rebuilt the house, and generally resided there during the sitting of Parliament. Locke here wrote part of his "Essay," and Addison several of the "Spectators. The mansion was subsequently converted into an additional workhouse for the parish of St. George, Hanover Square. Carter Hall, in her "Pilgrimages to English Shrines," gives us the following account of Shaftesbury House:—"The lodge at the entrance, as you see, is peculiar, the gate being of old wrought iron. The porter permitted us to pass in; and while he sought the master, we had leisure to look around us.

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The stone steps are of old times: they are wide, and much worn; a low wall flanks either side; and on the right, downwards, are steps of narrower dimensions leading to the underground apartments. When we entered, we perceived that the hall is panelled in, so as to form a passage; but this is a modern innovation; there can be no doubt of its having been, in Lord Shaftesbury's time, a good-sized hall; the banisters and supporters of the very handsome staircase are in admirable preservation, delicately rather than richly carved in oak, and not at all injured; the stairs are also of oak.

What remains of the old house is chopped up, as it were, into small apartments, but there are rich and varied indications of the 'light of other days' to illumine the whole. Over several of the doors are strips of paintings, which, as well as can be seen through thick varnish, are the productions of no feeble pencil. With a little trouble these old paintings can be made out, but they would seem bitter mockeries, occupied as the house at present is; and yet one of the inmates said, 'She liked to look up at that bit of picture when she was sick a-bed: it took away the notion of a workhouse.

Some of the rooms retain an antique air. In , a workhouse was erected on a piece of ground "near the conduit in the King's Road," which had been given by Sir Hans Sloane. Over the chimney-piece was a picture, by a Flemish painter, of a woman spinning thread, with the legend, "Waste not, want not.

A noted resident in Little Chelsea, at the commencement of the last century, was Sir John Cope, so famous in the rebellion of His house, having been subsequently used as a private asylum, was pulled down; on its site Odell's Place was erected. Robert Boyle, the distinguished philosopher and chemist, a son of Richard, Earl of Cork, resided here in Here he was visited by the learned and eminent of his time—amongst others, by M. Oldenburg "two miles from London in a stage-coach, for five shillings, to a village called Little Chelsea, to visit Mr.

Boyle," gives an account of several experiments which that gentleman made in his presence, and then proceeds:—"He has a very fine laboratory, where he makes all his extracts and other operations, one of which he showed me with salt, which being put in quite dry with gold leaves sixteen times thicker than that used by gilders into a crucible on a slow fire, even over a lighted candle, the salt calcined the gold so perfectly that water afterwards dissolved them both and became impregnated with them, in the same manner as with common salt. Boyle at Chelsea, and saw divers effects of the Eolipile, for weighing air.

Charles, fourth Earl of Orrery, grand-nephew of Mr. Boyle, was born at Little Chelsea in He was the improver of an instrument or machine which had been constructed for the purpose of exhibiting the motions of the planets round the sun, and which henceforth was called the Orrery, in his honour; the instrument, which was held in high repute in the last century, is, however, now regarded as little more than an ingenious toy.

Another resident of this part of Chelsea, at the beginning of the present century, was Mr. Adrian Haworth, the eminent entomologist and botanist, author of "Lepidoptera Britannica," "Miscellanea Naturalia," and other important works. He was a native of Hull, lived to a great age, and here he died. But even greater names are connected with Chelsea.

Within only a short distance from where we are now, stood the abodes of Pym, Locke, Addison, Steele, Swift, and Atterbury; and the extinct hamlet of Little Chelsea was gilded by the greater lights of the Augustan age of British literature. That part of Church Street which lies between the King's Road and the river has in its time had some distinguished residents.

The thoroughfare itself appears to have been built at a very early period. Here, for several years, lived Dr. Atterbury, afterwards Bishop of Rochester, whose committal to the Tower on suspicion of being concerned in a plot in favour of the Pretender was one of the principal events at the commencement of the last century. It was whilst living here that Dr. Atterbury became acquainted with Dean Swift, who, in , took up his residence opposite the doctor's house.

Previous to becoming a resident at Chelsea, Swift was a frequenter of its rural scenes. He writes, in May, —"I leave my best gown and periwig at Mrs. Van Homrigh's in Suffolk Street , fn. I set out about sunset, and get there in something less than an hour; it is two good miles, and just 5, steps.

Shadwell, the poet laureate of the seventeenth century, was another inhabitant of Church Street or Church Lane. He lived in a house which had been previously occupied by Dr. The old "White Horse" inn, in this street, which was burnt down some years since—a new one being substituted for it—was a very ancient structure, built in the Tudor style of architecture. The house was rich in ancient panelling, together with grotesque ornaments and carving, in the form of brackets. In the principal room, which was large, and consequently well adapted for such a purpose, the old Parochial Guardian Society mostly held its meetings.

Another remarkable old inn in the same street was the "Black Lion," which was situated opposite the rectory garden wall, and was pulled down a few years ago to make room for the present tavern, which still retains the name. It is supposed that the old tavern was in its full glory during the reign of Charles II. It bore the date of on a leaden panel of the pump. The old tea-gardens was, no doubt, the resort of the many fashionable families which lived in the neighbourhood; and attached to it was an extensive bowling-green for those who enjoyed that fashionable game.

The Clock House. The Moravian Chapel. The White Horse Inn. At the bottom of Church Lane, close by the old church in Lombard Street, lived, during the last twelve years of his life, Mr. Henry Sampson Woodfall, whose name was brought prominently before the public as the printer of the celebrated "Letters of Junius.

Lewis, bookbinder, the intimate friend of Dr. Smollett, and his fellow-companion whilst journeying from Edinburgh to London, lived for many years in this street. Lewis figures in the novel of "Roderick Random," under the character of "Strap the Barber. Danvers Street takes its name from Danvers Gardens, on the site of which it was built in the latter end of the seventeenth century. Danvers House adjoined, if it was not actually part of, the property of Sir Thomas More, or that of his son-inlaw, Roper.

Sir John Danvers, who possessed this property early in the reign of Elizabeth, is said to have first introduced into this country the Italian method of horticulture, of which his garden, as represented by Kip, was a beautiful specimen. The house was pulled down early in the last century. Justice Walk, which extends from Church Street to Lawrence Street, was so named from a magistrate who lived in it. An avenue of lime-trees formerly adorned it, and rendered it an agreeable promenade for strollers. In this thoroughfare there is a commodious Wesleyan Chapel, built in The exterior is plain and unpretending; and beneath the chapel is a spacious school-room.

The old Wesleyan Chapel of Chelsea was of some antiquity, and deserves mention as one of the favourite places of the founder of that community. In its pulpit John Wesley preached for the last time on February 18th, , a fortnight before his death. Several houses at the corner of Justice Walk and Lawrence Street were formerly used as the showrooms and manufactory of Chelsea china.

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The whole of the premises were pulled down towards the close of the last century, and new houses erected on the site. Faulkner, in his work already quoted, "was set on foot and carried on by a Mr. Spremont, a foreigner. The establishment employed a great number of hands; but the original proprietor, having acquired a large fortune, retired from the concern; and his successors, wanting his enterprise and spirit, did not so well succeed, and in a few years finally abandoned it.

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Previous to the dissolution of the establishment, the proprietors presented a memorial respecting it to the Government, requesting protection and assistance, in which they stated that 'the manufacture in England has been carried on by great labour and a large expense; it is in many respects to the full as good as the Dresden; and the late Duke of Orleans told Colonel York that the metal or earth had been tried in his furnace, and was found to be the best made in Europe. It is now daily improving, and already employs at least one hundred hands, of which is a nursery of thirty lads, taken from the parishes and charity schools, and bred to designing and painting—arts very much wanted here, and which are of the greatest use in our silk and printed linen manufactories.

At the sale of the effects of Queen Charlotte, the articles in Chelsea china, of which her Majesty had a large collection, brought very high prices. Johnson had conceived a notion that he was capable of improving on the manufacture of china. He even applied to the directors of the Chelsea China Works, and was allowed to bake his compositions in their ovens in Lawrence Street.

He was accordingly accustomed to go down with his housekeeper, about twice a week, and stay the whole day, she carrying a basket of provisions with her. The doctor, who was not allowed to enter the mixing room, had access to every other part of the premises, and formed his composition in a particular apartment, without being overlooked by any one. He had also free access to the oven, and superintended the whole of the process; but he completely failed, both as to composition and baking, for his materials always yielded to the intensity of the heat, while those of the Company came out of the furnace perfect and complete.

Johnson retired in disgust, but not in despair, for he afterwards gave a dissertation on this very subject in his works. Chelsea china seems to have been manufactured as far back as the reign of Queen Anne, but was not brought out to anything like perfection till the reign of George II. He and the Duke of Cumberland were the great patrons of the Chelsea China Works, and took much interest in promoting the success of this interesting manufacture.

Beaumont painted some of the best landscapes on it; Nollekens' father worked there; and Sir James Thornhill was also employed in designing for it. The clay for the Chelsea china was brought from China by merchant captains, who procured it ostensibly for ballast. The productions of the Chelsea furnaces were thought worthy to vie with those of the celebrated manufactories of Germany.

Possibly, it was in order to encourage the manufacture that George II. It was evidently made for the ship, as it has "ship" burnt in at the bottom. In Mr. Brongniart terms Chelsea a "Manufacture Royale. Chelsea ware has always held a high rank among the varieties of English pottery. It reached its perfection about the year ; some fifteen years later, owing to the influx of foreign china, and the death of the director of the Chelsea works, Spremont, the workmen were transferred to Derby, where afterwards arose the celebrated ChelseaDerby manufacture, which marked the first twenty years of the reign of George III.

Johnson remarked that it was "very beautiful, but nearly as dear as silver. Lawrence Street derives its name from having been erected on the site of the residence of the Lawrence family, which flourished here in the days of bluff King Hal. It is uncertain when this family first settled in Chelsea; but as the "Lawrence Chapel," in the old parish church, is built in the style of architecture which prevailed at the beginning of the fourteenth century, it was probably about that period, or, at all events, some time before they purchased the old manor house.

Gay was for some time secretary to the duchess, as stated in Johnson's "Life of the Poet. Tobias Smollett afterwards resided in the same house. A view of the old mansion, which was taken down in , and a fac-simile of an autograph letter, dated thence in , and addressed to Richardson, the actor, are to be seen in Smith's "Historical and Literary Curiosities. Richardson's writings, which appeared some time ago in the Critical Review ; and I desired my friend, Mr.

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Millar, to assure you, in my name, that it was inserted without my privity or concurrence. Smollett has immortalised this spot by making it the scene of one of the chapters in his "Humphrey Clinker. Between Lawrence Street and Church Street, in former times, was the stabling for the old Chelsea stage-coaches. The fare for inside passengers was 1s. Such are the changes, however, brought about by the "whirligig of time," that passengers can now go almost from one extremity of London to the other for sixpence, and Chelsea can now be reached by steamboat for the moderate sum of twopence.

Besides the residents in this part of Chelsea in former times, of whom we have already spoken, a few more remain to be mentioned. Sir Richard Steele occupied a house not far from the waterside.

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Fuller and I came hither to dine in the air, but the mail has been so slow that we are benighted, and chuse to lie here rather than go this road in the dark. I lie at our own house, and my friend at a relation's in the town. Macaulay says that he Addison enjoyed nothing so much as the quiet and seclusion of his villa at Chelsea. At the house of a clergyman here, Mrs. Darby, the mother of Mary Robinson, better known as "Perdita," took up her home, with her children, on being deserted by her husband at Bristol.

Soon afterwards she opened a girls' school in the neighbourhood, in which she was aided by her daughter. In , Mrs. This is a detail from a James Hedderly photograph. Among the trees on the right you can see the firework platform of Cremorne Gardens, one of the great entertainment attractions of Victorian London now gone almost without trace.

There seem to be very few photographs of the place at all although there are plenty of prints on posters and handbills and illustrations in magazines like the Illustrated London News. So we think we know what it looked like and we think we know what it was like to visit the place. Mass entertainment as we know it today began in the nineteenth century in the pleasure gardens and music halls of Victorian cities. The staples of Cremorne were music, dancing, variety shows and fireworks. At first these would have been enough to pull in the crowds.

But the various proprietors of Cremorne also needed spectacle. Later someone asked themselves what if we suspended something from underneath the basket? A horse maybe? Or a cow? How about a woman in classical costume riding the cow while the balloon ascends? She can then represent the goddess Europa whose sacred animal is the bull — educational as well as spectacular. This actually happened and I wonder how they persuaded the woman in question, a Madame Piotevin that it would be perfectly safe to sit on a terrified animal while ascending hundreds of feet up in the air dressed as a Greek goddess.

On July 24th the aeronaut Mr Lythgoe was scheduled to take paying passengers for a flight in his balloon. But the afternoon of 24 th July turned out to be cloudy, windy and looking like rain. Night flights had been done before. The adventurous Mr Green had set off fireworks from above to the general delight of the crowds.

On one occasion he ascended at night during a heavy rainstorm.

He and all his equipment were soaked. All went well at first for Mr Lythgoe and his companions. They shouted out themselves startling unsuspecting animals and people below. They went higher, up to feet, now much colder. They thought they might be 20 miles or so from London as they descended and threw out the grappling iron. They stopped for a moment but with a loud crack the rope to the grappling iron broke. The first time they tried this they crashed into some trees. Vivian was momentarily stunned and regaining consciousness found Anderson gone, flung out of the basket when they touched the ground.

Lythgoe reckoned they got to feet before they could regain control and begin to descend. They were travelling through banks of cloud. Vivian thought he could hear water below. Lythgoe assured him they could be nowhere near the sea, but a break in the cloud cover showed that they were in fact above the ocean.