Victorian London - Publications - History - Views of the Pleasure Gardens of London, by H.A.Rogers, 1896

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Ranelagh Gardens


AT RANELAGH-HOUSE, This Day, being the 19th Instant (being the last Time of opening This Season) will be an elegant FIREWORK, with several new transparent Paintings and Illuminations, besides those exhibited at the late Fireworks, making the Whole much superior to any Thing of the Kind ever given there before. 
    The new Serenato, called The EPHESIAN MATRON, will be performed between Eight and Nine. There are to be two Sets of Music on the canal to play alternately, and during the Firework (which begins exactly at Ten). The music composed by Mr. Handel, for the grand Firework in 1748, will be performed in the New Orchestra, lately erected in the Garden, which will be elegantly illuminated.


    FIRST FIRING. 1. Eight Half- Pound Sky Rockets. 2. Two Tourballoons. 3. Two Air Balloons. 4. A new Piece of Three Vertical Wheels with brilliant and white Fires intersecting each other. 5. A Pyramid of twenty-one Boxes and Chinese Fires. 6. A Horizontal and Vertical Wheel, illuminated. SECOND FIRING. 7. Eight Half-Pound Sky-Rockets. 8. Two Tourballoons. 9. Two Air Balloons. 10. A regulating Piece of three Mutations, first, a brilliant Wheel illuminated; second, a Sun and Glory; third, six Branches representing Ears of Corn. 11. A new Piece with a Vertical Brilliant Wheel and Yellow Fires in the Center, and eight Furilloni Wheels at the extreme. 12. A regulating Piece of three Mutations, first, a Brilliant Wheel illuminated; second, a fixed Sun; third, a Brilliant Star with eight Points. THIRD FIRING. 13. Eight half-pound Sky Rockets. 14. Two Tourbilloons. 15. Two Air Balloons. 16. A large new Piece, first, a large Brilliant Wheel moved by four Fires, illuminated in the Center with Fires of various Colours; second, a large Brilliant Sun whose Rays extend 50 feet. 17. A large horizontal Wheel moved by six Fires with six Vertical Wheels, and a Globe illuminated. 18. A Piece called The Fort with brilliant Fountains, Roman Candles and Chinese Fires. 19. Twelve WaterRockets. 20. A grand Buffette of three Mutations extending cross the Canal, consisting of illuminated Wheels, Palm Branches, Fire-Trees of Chinese Fires, and six Pot d'Agrettes. 2 I. Twelve Air Balloons.

Coffee and Tea included.

- Advertisement, 1764.

    AT Ranelagh House on Friday the 12th May, will be a Jubilee Ridotto, or BalPare. 
It is left to the Nobility and Gentry to come in fancied Dresses, without Masks, or dressed as at the Ridottos.
    There will be an Officer's Guard, and the same Number of Men as at the Ridottos in the Haymarket, and every Entertainment given, as at that Place on such Occasions.
    There will also be a new Musical Entertainment in the Amphitheatre, in the Manner of a Burletta, with Music and Illuminations on the Canal, in the Temple, and in different Parts of the Gardens.
    The Company is desired to come early. The Doors will be opened at Six, and the Entertainments will begin at Seven.
    A certain Number only of Tickets will be printed, which will be delivered on Friday next, the 5th of May, at the following Places, viz. The London Tavern; Nando's Coffee-House, Temple Bar; Tom's Coffee-House, Russell Street, Covent Garden; the Smyrna Coffee-House, St. James'-Street; the Mount Coffee-House, Grosvenor Street; and at Ranelagh House, at One Guinea each, to admit one Gentleman or two Ladies.
    There will be Horse Patroles, and an additional Number of Lights on the Road. The Footway from Buckingham Gate is lately mended, and enlarged, so as to make it very safe and easy for Chairs.
    Besides the usual Days (by Particular Desire), the House will be opened this Evening and Thursday next.

- Advertisement, 1769.



To Ranelagh, once in my life,
By good-natured force I was driven;
The nations had ceased their long strife,
And Peace beamed her radiance from Heaven. 
What wonders were here to be found,
That a clown might enjoy or disdain?
First, we traced the gay circle all round,
Ay - and then
we went round it again.

A thousand feet rustled on mats- 
A carpet that once had been green;
Men bowed with their outlandish hats,
With corners so fearfully thin.
Fair maids, who at home in their haste
Had left all clothing else but a train
Swept the floor clean as slowly they paced, 
Then - walked round and swept it again.

* * *

- R. BLOOMFIELD (1802).


YON see where clouds of dust ascend the sky,
See where the scatter'd ruins load the plain,
See where the pois'nous snake its offspring rears,
And where the weeds spontaneous grow around - 
On that same spot once stood fam'd Ranelagh!
That haunt of fashion, and once gay resort
Of England's beauteous dames, who swept the ground
With their long flowing robes, while Music's pow'r
Rais'd their enraptured souls from earth to Heav'n!
Here often too, the youth first felt the dart
Of Love, when walking by the side of her
Who caus'd at once his pleasure and his pain,
Whose glances rais'd in him celestial fires
Unfelt before, and made him burn to clasp
·The willing fair one in his eager arms!
Scenes such as these for evermore are fled,
And Ranelagh's proud dome now sinks to earth!
Such fate attends each gorgeous pile uprais'd
By human hands; thus too both wealth and pow'r,
Wisdom and beauty, and th' whole world's contents,
When the appointed day arrives, shall stoop,
And kiss the dust like once proud Ranelagh!

- Gentleman's Magazine, June 1807.