Vauxhall: The Russian train station

Vauxhall is a riverside area and major transport interchange in South London. It's thought the area's name derives from the Gascon merchant Falkes De Breaute, who once owned vast parcels of land in the area. It's thought the area was originally Falkes Hall, which slowly changed into Vauxhall.

There is also the suggestion that Vauxhall has snuck its way into the Russian language, in the word ‘vokzal', meaning ‘train station'. The story runs that when a Russian delegation visited the British railways in 1840, they confused the name Vauxhall with a generic train station, and the word became adopted into their own language as they didn't have a word for stations at that point.

From 1660-1859, Vauxhall was home to a remarkably decadent pleasure garden, one of London's most popular entertainment venues. The gardens were first recorded by Samuel Pepys in 1662 and also featured in works by Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray and Thomas Hardy.