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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
8th December 1941 After Pearl Harbour, the Dutch government declares war on Japan from London.
8th December 1921 Born today: Terence Morgan, London England, actor (Adv of Sir Francis Drake)
8th December 1660 Mrs. Hughes scandalised the public becoming the first woman actor to take to the stage in London.
This is where the former Chelsea Pleasure Gardens were.
Location: Lots Road, Chelsea
Description: These pretty gardens were popular Victorian pleasure gardens by the River Thames between Chelsea Harbour and the King's Road.
They flourished as nocturnes, celebrity parties at night, between 1845 and 1877. You could have expected to see amusements including an orchestra, a Crystal Grotto, a Marionette Theatre, a Hermit's Cave, an American Bowling Saloon, a circus, a theatre and a weekly fireworks display!
Local artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler painted several pictures of Cremorne Gardens in full swing between 1872 and 1877. He used to live down the road in Cheyne Walk.
The gardens closed in 1877 after they declined in fame, their license was refused, and most of it was soon built upon.
Cremorne is the name of a barony from County Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland. In Gaelic it's Críoch Mhúrn or the Mountains of Mourne.
Not much remains, just a small park next to the Thames, featuring two jetties, an echo of the landing stages where well-to-do visitors to the original pleasure gardens would arrive by boat.
If you visit you can see one of the original grand iron gates which stood at the end of the King's Road. They were moved to this spot when the park was newly landscaped in 1982.
The name also survives in nearby Cremorne Road.