London History Day Back

View a rare surviving ticket for the new season ball at Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, held on this day in 1792

On 31 May 1792 the new season at Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens opened with a masquerade. View one of only seven known surviving tickets for this masked ball, staged for London’s wealthy and fashionable set, on display from the Gerald Coke Handel Collection archive for London History Day.

Vauxhall Gardens was re-launched in 1732 as the first and most significant of the true Pleasure Gardens of Georgian London. Commercial pleasure gardens, an English invention, were privately-run sites of entertainment, often situated on the outskirts of large towns or cities. Normally open in the evening, paying visitors were entertained in the summer months with music and company, and anybody who could afford the admission price and who was at least respectably dressed, would be admitted. Tickets to the opening ball cost one guinea (at least £120 in today’s money) and the audience wore fancy dress.

Join us for a talk at 13:00 on the 1792 season at the Gardens by Gerald Coke Handel Collection Librarian, Katharine Hogg.