Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1742-1805 - Elystan Place (Chelsea)

In the course of the eighteenth century in England witnessed the flourishing of the tea garden’. Designed for entertainment, it contained a ballroom with orchestra, flowered walks, bowling greens, concerts, gambling, and fireworks at night. These gardens became more numerous towards 1750 (Vauxhall, Marylebone, Covent Garden, and others). They attracted everybody that loves eating, drinking, staring, or crowding’, as Horace Walpole said at the opening of Ranelagh Gardens in 1742 which were located on the site of Ranelagh House at Elystan Place, Chelsea.

They were built and owned by Solomon Rieti, an Italian Jewish immigrant. His niece, Rebecca Basevi-Rieti, was the grandmother of Benjamin Disraeli. The centrepiece of Ranelagh was a Rococo rotunda, designed by William Jones. Concerts were an important part of the entertainment. Castrato Fernando Tenducci performed here for an adoring public. In 1765, nine year old Mozart performed in this showpiece. Ranelagh House was demolished in 1805.

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