Skip to main content

Battersea Park Amusement Park (1858 - 1972)



  • Existence: 1858 - 1972


Is a public park in London situated in the south bank of the river Thames, opposite Chelsey. The park was opened in 1858 and housed an amusement park with rollers coasters, swings, roundabouts, jetstreams and other attractions. In 1951 The Big Dipper was introduced, which was an impressive wooden rollercoaster and became very popular. The Big Dipper was destroyed by fire in 1970 and two years later the park was closed after a catastrophic accident killed five children and injured many more. The site is still used to host travelling fairs, circuses and exhibitions.

Found in 11 Collections and/or Records:

Circus Friends Association Collection

Reference code: NFA0122
Scope and Contents

This collection consists of a large library of books and journals, as well as archival material including posters, programmes, photographs, films, handbills, research material, scrapbooks, original artwork and many other items of ephemera relating to British, Irish and European circuses

Dates: 1795 - 2020

Cottle and Austen's Combined Circus Programme, Saturday 17 December 1988 - Sunday 8 January 1989

Reference code: 178K43.405
Scope and Contents

Battersea Park Hippodrome. Colour illustration of roaring tiger's face on a blue background and yellow and red type on the front cover, inside history of circus, programme and colouring book, also reproduction of two circus poster advertising upcoming circus shows, front cover image repeated on back cover, 6p.p.

Dates: Saturday 17 December 1988 - Sunday 8 January 1989

David Smart's Super Circus Poster, c1946 - 1999

Reference code: 178R47.54
Scope and Contents

Battersea Park, London Summer Season. Colour illustration of female equestrian in long red gown and top hat riding a white horse, trapeze act on bottom left and clown and female face on centre right, also aerial act on crescent moon on top left corner, over a blue background and blue and white borders. Printed in England by W. E. Berry Ltd. Bradford.

Dates: c1946 - 1999

Farini’s Earthmen Handbill, 1885

 Item — Box John Barmwell Taylor Box 2: Series 178T1
Reference code: 178T1.250
Scope and Contents

Pygmies or Dwarf Races. N’con N’qui, N’fim N’fom, Nzep, N’co, N’icy, and N’arkar at Albert Hall, Battersea. “Exhibiting their beautifully-formed hand and feet, their spiral tufted hair, and their monkey-like language”. Printed by Aubert’s Steam Printing Works, 11 Maiden Lane, Strand.

Dates: 1885

Gerry Cottle's Circus, Cottle and Austen and Burnt Stub's Circus Programmes, c1900 - 2001

Reference code: 178K43.385-442
Scope and Contents

Gerry Cottle Circus programmes including Circus of Horrors, Cottle and Austen, Cottle-Chipperfield Circus, Continental Berlin Circus, Moscow State Circus and Gerry Cottle's Circus abroad.

Dates: c1900 - 2001

Handbills, c1786 - 1968

 Series — Box John Barmwell Taylor Box 1: Series 178T1
Reference code: 178T1
Scope and Contents

Handbills for travelling shows, fairs, exhibitions and performances in London.

Dates: c1786 - 1968

Handbills and Flyers, for a Variety of Locations, often featuring Illustrations, c1790 - 1939

 Sub-Series — Box John Barmwell Taylor Box 2: Series 178T1
Reference code: 178T1.236-342
Scope and Contents

Handbills for travelling shows, fairs, exhibitions and performances at a wide range of venues.

Dates: c1790 - 1939

John Bramwell Taylor Collection

Reference code: NFA0086
Scope and Contents The collection consists of handbills, programmes and small flyers for shows, fairs, expositions and circus performances in the nineteenth century. The circus material in the Bramwell Taylor Collection was sponsored by the Circus Friends Association of Great Britain and consists of material relating to 19th century touring circuses, individual acts and purpose built hippodromes such as Hengler’s Circus and Astley’s Amphitheatre. Additionally this collection also contains a small amount of...
Dates: c1786 - 2003

Posters, c1800 - 2011

Reference code: 178R47
Scope and Contents

A wide range of British and international circus and menagerie posters ranging from the 19th to the 21st century including Astley's Amphitheatre, Pablo Fanque, Polito, Bostock and Wombwell, Ducrow, Cooke, Hengler, Sanger, Smart, Gerry Cottle, Bertram Mills, Chipperfield's, Robert Brothers, Fossett, Blackpool Tower, Billy Russell, Belle Vue, Great Yarmouth Hippodrome, Austen Brothers and many more.

Dates: c1800 - 2011

Programmes, c1800 - 2019

Reference code: 178K43
Scope and Contents

A collection of mainly British and international circus programmes and some variety and music hall programmes containing circus acts.

Dates: c1800 - 2019

Smart Circus Posters, c1946 - 1999

Reference code: 178R47.52-140
Scope and Contents

Billy Smart's and David Smart's Circus posters.

Dates: c1946 - 1999

Additional filters:

Archival Object 9
Collection 2
Acrobats 5
Aerialists 6
Animal trainers 4
Animals 8
Art 3