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The name is cognate with the Mountains of Mourne. The property was sold by the Dawson family, Barons Cremorne , in to a Baron de Berenger, [2] who was a convicted fraudster whose real name was Charles Random. For two years the gardens opened for summer, including an opening festival billed as "Pie de Nie" with Balloon ascent, [4] for instance, were held, and the property was sold in James Ellis took over the license in January Opened in , they were noisy and colourful pleasure gardens featuring restaurants, entertainments, dancing and balloon ascents, and could be entered from the north gate on Kings Road or another by the Cremorne Pier on the river.

He was a resident of Cheyne Walk, a mere few hundred yards from the Gardens. Cremorne Gardens was doubtless a most attractive location, not only for its light displays but also for the brilliant array of fashionable people who gathered there.

Cremorne Gardens - Wikipedia

They provided the setting for Nocturne in Black and Gold: Walter Greaves was the son of a Chelsea boat-builder who used to ferry Turner across the river; Walter and his brother Harry also performed the same service for Whistler, and in about became his unpaid studio assistants and pupils. They adored Whistler, accompanied him wherever he went, imitated his dress and manner, made the frames for his canvases, bought his materials and prepared his colours.

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. A Cremorne Gardens was also established in Melbourne , Australia.

Robin in Cremorne gardens Spring 2013

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, London

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.

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The former Waste Centre is closer to the proposed Tideway Tunnel, therefore is an alternative site for the access road. The seedy underbelly of Victorian society crept in at nightfall; one pamphlet described the place as a 'nursery of every kind of vice'.

Who to Cremorne would not Gladly Repair?

In particular, this meant rowdy drunks and prostitution were rife. This behaviour was accepted in the Victorian East End, but it never stood much of a chance in Chelsea.


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Many locals petitioned for the gardens' license to be revoked. The local pressure took a toll and the gardens closed in The gardens' gates were saved and are the same ones that stand in today's Cremorne Gardens. As for the rest of the land, a lot of it is taken up by The World's End Estate and other local buildings. The World's End is a bold brutalist statement but it's not exactly fireworks and blown up old naval ships, is it?

The best things to do in London. The must-read London articles. The coolest London events from our partners. Chelsea's Forgotten Pleasure Gardens. By Harry Rosehill Last edited 18 months ago.


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Matt Brown Wandering along the northern bank of the Thames in Chelsea, you'll come across a small but charming green space overlooking the river. Wikimedia Commons But one of the biggest draws of the gardens was the hot air balloons that were set off from there. Wikimedia Commons These gardens sound rather marvellous, but what happened to them?

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