Map

The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

Open location in Google Maps: 51.485659, -0.135956

Summary

According to L&M: “Market-gardeners’ houses and houses of entertainment on the river-bank opposite Vauxhall.”

They can be seen on this map from 1806.

6 Annotations

Bill  •  Link

"some trees near the Neate houses"

Neat Houses (The), at Chelsea, in the low ground by the Thames side west of Vauxhall Bridge. The name clearly points to the original purposes of the houses: neat-house = cow-house. The parish of St. Gabriel's, Pimlico, now occupies the site of the Neat House estate, belonging to St. George's, Hanover Square.

The Neat Houses are a parcel of Houses most seated on the banks of the river Thames, and inhabited by gardeners, for which it is of note for the supplying London and Westminster Markets with Asparagus, Artichoaks, Cauliflowers, Musmelons, and the like useful things that the earth produceth; which by reason of their keeping the ground so rich by dunging it (and through the nearness of London they have the soil cheap) doth make their crops very forward, to their great profit, in coming to such good markets.—Strype, B. vi. p.67.
---London, Past and Present. H.B. Wheatley, 1891.

There are encyclopedia entries for:
Neat's Tongue: www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/1662/
Neat's Feet: www.pepysdiary.com/encyclopedia/5546/

There is a discussion of Neat Houses in the annotations of 19 August 1661.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"It sounds like a treehouse, which would certainly be a Neat innovation in pleasure-garden development."

I usually recommend taking Pepys at his word, unless there are extenuating circumstances. I imagine this was a platform in a big old tree, with protective sides so no one fell out. Maybe some sort of canopy in case of rain.

However, do not underestimate the treehouses of the age. This shows an Elizabethan treehouse which has been maintained, and was known to Charles I and II -- and it resembles a box:
https://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp…

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References

Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.

1661

1664

1666

  • Aug

1667

  • Aug

1668