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It has also given its name to the Vauxhall parliamentary constituency, which extends to include all of Stockwell and parts of Brixton and Clapham all to the south, and to the Vauxhall Motors car manufacturer, which originated in the area, and possibly also to the Russian word for a large railway station.

Its economy was for more than a century until the late 20th century predominantly manual workers' homes and business premises such as works for the local railway, a former water supply works heavily contrasting with the mixed and frequently higher professional occupations of neighbouring districts, particularly Kennington and Westminster.

The name soon came to be applied to the station itself, which was the gateway that most visitors used to enter the gardens.

Both these explanations can probably be dismissed though since the first public railway in Russia had already been built by 1837.

This line ran from Saint Petersburg via Tsarskoye Selo to Pavlovsk Palace where extensive Pleasure Gardens had earlier been established.

There are competing theories as to why the Russian word for a central railway station is (vokzal), which coincides with the canonical 19th-century transliteration of "Vauxhall".

It has long been suggested that a Russian delegation visited the area to inspect the construction of the London and South Western Railway (L&SWR) in 1840, and mistook the name of the station for the generic name of the building type.

Some 18th and 19th century property also survives – most famously Bonnington Square, a community that emerged from the 1970s–1980s squat scene in London and remains as mostly housing co-operatives today.

There is a significant Portuguese community, some with a connection to Madeira; many Portuguese restaurants and bars are located in South Lambeth Road and the surrounding area.

From various accounts, three local roads – the South Lambeth Road, Clapham Road (previously Merton Road) and Wandsworth Road (previously Kingston Road) – were ancient and well-known routes to and from London.

The land was flat and parts were marshy and poorly drained by ditches, and only started to be developed with the draining of Lambeth Marsh in the mid-18th century, but remained a village.

Prior to this it provided market garden produce for the nearby City of London.

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