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Vauxhall, London, England

Vauxhall is a town in London, England in the London Borough of Lambeth. On the banks of the River Thames, across the water from the Tate Britain art gallery, it's a community in flux.

Historically, Vauxhall was home to the once divine Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, London's playground for two centuries. The arrival of the railways in the 1850s saw Vauxhall becoming a high-residence, light industrial area, the gardens broken up.

Now a major transport hub within minutes of central London, Vauxhall was neglected for many years. Many of its streets were also destroyed during World War 2 or through poor city planning. To many Londoners, Vauxhall has been seen merely as a bleak place of transit. But a significant - and fast growing - community lives here.

Most Vauxhall dwellers still live in social housing - mostly quality low-rise, 1930s stock of four or five stories. Much of the area is light industrial (like New Covent Garden flower and vegetable markets). Vauxhall also has a high security service presence. It houses MI6 - Britain's foreign spy service; and a number of other policing agencies.

Some 18th and 19th century property also survives: most famously Bonnington Square, a community which emerged from the 1970s/ 1980s squat scene in London, and remains mostly housing co-operativesa today. The local MP for Vauxhall is Kate Hoey (Labour) - the area has traditionally been very left wing.

The late 1990s/ early 2000s explosion in London property prices has led to a boom in riverside developments and property re-developments. Notorious criminal Lord Jeffrey Archer is perhaps Vauxhall's most famous resident, living in a large apartment on the river.

The impact of this new house-building - and the rise in house prices - is creating a dramatic change in Vauxhall's make-up. As the numbers living here rise steeply, long-term Vauxhall residents are being driven out of the area, replaced with monied people.

Nearest places:

Nearest tube stations:

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