New US Embassy Vauxhall

Trump and the new US embassy in Vauxhall and Nine Elms

Vauxhall is where the new US embassy stands. Donald Trump recently said about, “The reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for “peanuts,” only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!” So we went to explore the area.

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The new US embassy is surrounded by a moat deep enough to stop a large vehicle while concrete bollards are hidden in hedges. The building itself is encased in 15cm thick bomb proof glass while plastic sails are in place to reduce solar glare.

Nine Elms has for many years been used for industrial purposes, populated by warehouses, scrap yards, garages but lately there has been a large development and two new London Underground stations to serve the area are also under construction and a pedestrian bridge across the Thames to the north has also been agreed.

There is also a planned Sky Pool in Embassy Gardens so you will be able to swim from one building to another!

New US Embassy – Vauxhall Bridge (as seen in Spectre)

Bronze Age Bridge across Thames

Wooden remnants of the original bridge from 1500 BC are visible at low tide.
It’s the oldest in situ structure in london!
The rivers Tyburn and Efra and Thames met here so it was a sacred place and was a spiritual bridge.
Bridge between spiritual and material. God and man.
Link between bridges and the sacred still exists. The pope is called Pontifex Bridge builder.

The new Bridge was built in 1811 – first iron bridge across Thames and then rebuilt with bronze statues of women representing Agriculture, architecture, pottery, Local Government, education and Astronomy

Where does the name Vauxhall come from?

King John’s Knight Falkes De Breaute acquired land here and built a house called Falkes Hall which became Vauxhall.
1857 – Alex Wilson Vauxhall Car manufacturer founded in Vauxhall Ironworks and used a griffin as its badge.
Griffin was Falkes de Breaute family coat of arms.

Oval Cricket Ground – Vauxhall

Opened in 1845
Used to be like an allotment for the Duchy of Cornwall to grow vegetables and sell them.
Leased it for a cricket ground in 1844
1872 – First England v Scotland Rugby match in England AND first FA cup final between Wanderers and Royal Engineers of Chatham. Wanderers won 1 – 0.
1880 first England v Australia match (WG Grace scored 152)
1882 – England lost to Aus (first time ever they lost at home)
Journalist wrote obituary in Sporting times.
“In affectionate remembrance of English cricket which died at The Oval 29th August 1882. The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia”
When England played in Australia the Aussies gave us an urn with the ashes of a bail which we compete for every two years..
The actual ashes are kept at Lords.

ARP Wold War II Stretchers – Vauxhall/Oval

Harleyford Road Stretcher Railings

ARP – Air Raid Precautions.
Stretchers made to carry people injured in blitz.
600 000 stretcher made out of metal for easy sterilisation  in event of gas attack but are now used as railings around housing estates.
See The stretcher Railing Society

Spring Gardens

Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens

Opened in 1661
One of London’s finest entertainment venues
Samuel Pepys and Samuel Johnson came here to see fireworks displays, illuminated fountains and concerts.
19th century famous for Balloon ascents
1836 Monck Mason, Charles Green and Robert Holland took off and landed in Germany the next day!

Gardens were so famous –  it’s the reason for Russian word for railway.
Russia’s first railways went from St Petersburg to their pleasure gardens at Pavlovsk which were called Vokzal in recognition of these ones in London.
So going to Vokzal became associated with the first ever railways station and they started using the word to refer to any railway station!

Closed in 1859 because – you guessed it- because a haunt for prostitutes.

Vauxhall City Farm also has pigs, geese, chickens and horses.

Opposite is the M.I.6 building as seen in James Bond film SPECTRE where it gets blown up. It is actually bullet and bomb proof.

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