Did you know?
It’s thought that Vauxhall got its name Falkes de Breauté, the head of King John’s mercenaries, who owned a large house in the area, which was referred to as Falke’s Hall. This later morphed into Foxhall and somehow, evolved into Vauxhall.
Samuel Pepys mentioned ‘Fox Hall’ in his diary in 1665, a year before the Great Fire of London.
I took boat and to Fox Hall, where we spent two or three hours talking of several matters very soberly and contentfully to me, which, with the ayre and pleasure of the garden, was a great refreshment to me, and, ‘methinks, that which we ought to joy ourselves in.
The name of the area was finally solidified when the hugely popular Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens opened as a public attraction. Initially, most visitors would have arrived at the area by boat, but the building of Westminster Bridge in the 1740s made Vauxhall easier to get to, and the name eventually stuck with the Londoners of the day.
Unlike many places in and around London, Vauxhall isn’t mentioned in the Domesday Book. The area was originally part of the sprawling Manor of South Lambeth, owned by the wealthy de Redvers family.
Falkes de Breauté married into the family in 1216, marrying Margaret, widow of Baldwin de Redvers. However, de Breauté’s estate was passed back to the de Redvers family when he died 10 years later.
There is also some speculation that Vauxhall lends its name to all Russian train stations, with the generic word ‘vokzal’, although it’s not entirely clear if this is accurate or not.