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The opposite row of pavilions at the extremity of this walk forms another entrance into the gardens immediately from the great road. At the other end of the walk, adjoining to the prince's, is a semicircle of pavilions ornamented with three Gothic temples.
A narrow vista that runs to the top of the gardens, is called the Druid's, or Lover's Walk: on both sides are rows of lofty trees, which, meeting at the top, and interchanging their boughs, form a fine verdant canopy. The antiroom runs across one part of this walk.
À noble vista is formed from the grand south walk, terminated by a Gothic temple, which is opened on gala nights, and exbibits four illuminated vertical columns, in motion, and, in the centre, an artificial fountain, effected by machinery
The temple, in the centre of the cross walk, is the largest of the kind in England, built in 1786; the diameter is fortyfour feet, and the dome is supported by eight lofty pillars. On the right this walk is terminated by a fine statue of Apollo; and, at the extremity on the left, is a painting of a stone quarry in the vicinity of Bristol.
Another gravel walk leading up the gardens, is formed on the right side by a wilderness, and on the left by rural downs, as they are termed, in the form of a long square, fenced by a net, with little eminences in it after the manner of a Roman camp.
The colonnade, which forms a square, was erected in the walks round the orchestra, and is an admirable shelter from rain. It cost 2001. the expence of which was defrayed by a Ridotto al Fresco. The roof, &c. are richly illuminated, particularly on a gala night, when upward of fourteen thou. sand lamps have been used in the gardens at one time.
To detain visitors, after the orchestra is closed, the proprietors have engaged a band of wind music to continue playing, whilst, at intervals, bands of Savoyards contribute to enliven the scene. Not one of these performers is permitted to take money, or any refreshment, from the company. On gala nights, the band of the duke of York's
regiment of guards, dressed in full uniform, adds to the splendour of the gardens by the magnificence of mililitary harmony.
Near Vauxhall turnpike was erected one of the forts by the parliamentarians. In the road from Vauxball to Wandsworth, is an almshouse for seven poor women, founded in 1612, by Sir Noel Caron. Over the gate is a Latin inscription, importing, that it was founded in the thirty-second year of his embassy, “as an insignificant monument of what he owed to the glory of God, in gratitude to the nation, and in munificence to the poor.” The present income of these houses is 28l. per annum, payable out of Caron Park, the villa of Charles Blicke, Esq. (exclusive of a legacy of 11001. bequeathed to the alms-people in 1773 by the dowager countess Gower.) These women must be parishioners of Lambeth, and upwards of sixty years old. They are allowed (which is a very pleasing circumstance) to get an addition to their income, if they can, by the exertions of industry. Farther on, is a fine spring called Vauxhall Well; which, in the hardest winter, is never known to freeze.
South Lambeth, between Stockwell and Vauxhall, was thought such an agreeable situation, by Sir Noel Caron, the Dutch ambassador to the British court for thirty-three years, that he erected a handsome palace with two wings; what remains of it is an academy, called Caron House. A new chapel of ease has been built here by a subscription of the inhabitants.
In South Lambeth lived the Tradescants, father and son, who made the celebrated collection of rarities, described in a book, printed at London, in 1656, called Museum Tradescantianum. By a deed of gift of the younger Tradescant and bis wife, the museum became the property of Mr. Ashmole, who presented it to the university of Oxford. Their celebrated physic garden in this place, was one of the first established in the kingdom. The elder Tradescant, had been gardener to George Villiers, duke of Buckingham,
and other noblemen, and was afterwards promoted to the service of Charles I. He travelled over great part of Europe and Africa, in search of new plants; many of those introduced by him were long called by his name; there are now no traces of this garden.
Kennington, one of the eight precincts of Lambeth, was once a royal palace, in which Henry III. is said to have assembled a parliament, and in which Edward III. kept his Christmas in 1342. That monarch afterwards made it a part of the duchy of Cornwall, and granted it to Edward the Black Prince, who resided here frequently. It was likewise the residence of the unfortunate Richard II. when prince of Wales. In 1396, the young queen Isabella was conveyed, amid a prodigious concourse of people, from Kennington to the Tower. Henry V. resided in this paJace, when the clergy complained to him of Sir John Oldcastle and his followers. There is a grant of Henry VI. dated from his manor of Kennington, anno 1440. Henry VII. previously to his coronation, came from Kennington to Lambeth, where he dined with archbishop Bourchier; and Leland says, that Catharine of Arragon was there for a few days. Henry VIII. farmed out the manor. In his time there were no traces of this palace. It was probably pulled down, after it ceased to be an occasional royal residence, and a manor house built on the site, which was accupied by Charles I. when prince of Wales. In a survey, taken in 1656, this manor house is said to be “ small, and an old low timber building, situate upon part of the foundation of the antient mansion house of the Black Prince, and other dukes of Cornwall after him, which was long since utterly ruined, and nothing thereof remaining but the stable, one hundred and eighty feet long, built of flint and stone, and now used as a barn.” At this time, therefore, not only the manor house, but, what Camden could not find, The Long Barn, was visible; and the latter, in 1709, was one of the receptacles of the poor distressed Palatine Protestants. In 1786, in digging near this barn for a cellar, some spacious vaults of stone were discovered, the arches
of which were cemented by a substance barder than stone itself. The manor belongs to the prince of Wales, as part of the duchy of Cornwall, and is leased out. A public house, in Prince's Road, not far from the Long Barn, called Sot's Hole, and humourously mentioned as such in the Connoisseur, No. 68, has the sign of the Black Prince. This road is denominated the Prince's Road, in all antient writings; it having been the road by which the Black Prince came to his palace, when he landed at Lambeth. Kennington gave the title of earl to William duke of Cumberland, son of George II.
At Lambeth, Hardicanute died suddenly, in the year 1041, during an entertainment which he gave, on account of the marriage of a noble Dane. His death was imputed by some to poison; by others, to intemperance; and the scene of it probably was at Kennington. Harold, the son of earl Godwin, who usurped the crown after the death of Edward the Confessor, is said to have placed it on his head, with his own hands, at Lambeth.
Stockwell is between Kennington and Clapham. Here is a neat chapel of ease, to which archbishop Secker contributed 5001. On the site of the antient manor house, a handsome villa has been erected by Bryant Barrett, Esq. one of the proprietors of Vauxhall Gardens, for the remainder of a lease for one thousand years. Part of the autient offices are still standing. Mr. Lysons observes, that the tradition of its having been the property of Thomas Cromwell earl of Essex, is without foundation, it having belonged at that time to Sir John Leigh the younger.
A singular imposition was practced here in the year 1772, at the house of a Mrs. Golding, in which the furniture danced and broke in an extraordinary manner, as related in a pamphlet published at the time, which, among other surprizing circumstances, declares, “ that when Mr. Gardner, a surgeon of Clapham, came to bleed Mrs. Golding, who had fainted from fright, he desired that the blood might not be thrown away, as he would examine it when cold; but that when the blood had congealed, it sprang out of the
bason upon the floor, and presently after the bason broke to pieces.” Another mortifying thing occurred; which was, that when a Mrs. Savile, (Mrs. Golding's neighbour) and others, “ were desired to drink a glass of wine, the bottles broke in pieces before they could be uncorked.” It is curious that the imposition was never discovered; but, after the death of Mrs. Golding and her daughter, there was an auction at the house in 1792, “ when," says Mr. Lysons, “ the dancing furniture sold at very extravagant prices.”
We return by the Vauxhall road to Walcot Place, and turning to the right come to the New Road leading into Kent, in which the first object of notice is a house, formerly a place of public entertainment, denominated The Dog and Duck, which owed its origin to a well of purging water*, that was much resorted to on account of its contiguity to London: the proprietor finding it a profitable concern, built
a large room for the accommodation of company, and furnished it with an organ, and other inducements to draw company; but ultimately the incroachments upon decency and order became so great, that the
* Dr. Russel, in his account of the Mineral Waters of Great Britain, observes, that “this water is clear, and has very little taste. Some authors inform us, that it has been found effectual in the cure of leprous disorders; and Dr. Baynard tells us, that it had cured an ulcerated cancer in the breast by drinking the water, and keeping a wet cloth always over it. Dr. Fothergill acquaints us, that it seems to have nothing volatile in its composition, because it will operate as well, after keeping several weeks, as when drank fresh at the spring. Being drank, from one pint to three, it generally purges easily and briskly, and without affecting the strength, unless in very tender constitutions. Children, and those who cannot bear a large dose, may have it boiled to one half. It may be taken as an alterative instead of common drink; for it has acquired a great reputation for the cure of scorbutic pimples, tetters, and the leprosy. as well as the king's evil, or at least they have been often relieved by it. It is also a palliative cure in cancerous disorders, for has been the means of prolonging the lives of some with comfort. When there is a tendency to this disease, this water has retarded its approaches. They do no harm to any, except persons advanced in years, and especially free livers; for in these cases they cool too much. and bring on watery swellings; they are also prejudicial to persons of a weak habit of body, though attended with eruptions, and to women in particular, by bringing on the fluor albus."