Dudderston's 'Shady Walks and Arbours'

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The eighteenth-century pleasure garden was one of the new urban entertainments available in English towns following the Restoration.

Where London led, the provinces followed and Birmingham’s Vauxhall Gardens provided a leisure experience on the edge of the rapidly-expanding town.

Pleasure gardens were public spaces but also commercial ventures, charging admission and making a profit on food, drink and al fresco entertainments offered within a landscape setting. Part of the new urban infrastructure, some were simple tea gardens whilst others, like London’s famous Vauxhall, were more sophisticated – places to see and be seen; to promenade tree-lined walks, dine in supper boxes set amongst the shrubberies; dance amidst the candlelight.

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