HYDE PARK is a Grade I-registered major park in Central
The park was established by Henry VIII in 1536 when he took the land
* 1 Geography
* 2 History
* 2.1 Early history * 2.2 16th – 17th century * 2.3 18th century * 2.4 19th – 21st century
* 3 Grand Entrance
* 4 Features
* 4.1 Botany * 4.2 Statues and sculptures
* 5 Debates * 6 Concerts * 7 Sports * 8 Transport * 9 References * 10 External links
Hyde Park is the largest Royal Park in London. It is bounded on the
To the west, Hyde Park merges with Kensington Gardens . The dividing line runs approximately between Alexandra Gate to Victoria Gate via West Carriage Drive and the Serpentine Bridge. The Serpentine is to the south of the park area. Kensington Gardens has been separate from Hyde Park since 1728, when Queen Caroline divided them. Hyde Park covers 142 hectares (350 acres), and Kensington Gardens covers 111 hectares (275 acres), giving a total area of 253 hectares (625 acres). During daylight, the two parks merge seamlessly into each other, but Kensington Gardens closes at dusk, and Hyde Park remains open throughout the year from 5 a.m. until midnight.
The park's name comes from the Manor of Hyde, which was the northeast
sub-division of the manor of
16TH – 17TH CENTURY
Hyde Park was created for hunting by Henry Vlll in 1536 after he
acquired the manor of Hyde from the Abbey. It was enclosed as a deer
park and remained a private hunting ground until James I permitted
limited access to gentlefolk, appointing a ranger to take charge.
Charles I created the Ring (north of the present Serpentine
boathouses), and in 1637 he opened the park to the general public. It
quickly became a popular gathering place, particularly for May Day
celebrations. At the start of the
English Civil War
In 1652, during the Interregnum , Parliament ordered the then
620-acre (250 ha) park to be sold for "ready money". It realised
£17,000 with an additional £765 6s 2d for the resident deer.
During the Great Plague of
Charles Mohun, 4th Baron Mohun fighting James Hamilton, 4th Duke of Hamilton in Hyde Park; both lost their lives.
In 1689, William III moved his residence to
Hyde Park was a popular duelling spot during the 18th century, with
172 taking place, leading to 63 fatalities. Charles Mohun, 4th Baron
James Hamilton, 4th Duke of Hamilton in a duel in 1712.
Baron Mohun was killed instantly, while the Duke died shortly
The first coherent landscaping in Hyde Park was undertaken by Charles Bridgeman for Queen Caroline (wife of King George II ), under the supervision of Charles Withers, the Surveyor-General of Woods and Forests . The principal effect of the work was to sub-divide Hyde Park and create Kensington Gardens. The Serpentine was formed by damming the River Westbourne , which runs through the park from Kilburn towards the Thames. It is divided from the Long Water by a bridge designed by George Rennie in 1826.
The work was completed in 1733. The 2nd Viscount Weymouth was made Ranger of Hyde Park in 1739 and shortly after began digging the Serpentine lakes at Longleat . A powder magazine was built north of the Serpentine in 1805.
19TH – 21ST CENTURY
Hyde Park, drawn by
Hyde Park hosted a Great Fair in the summer of 1814 to celebrate the Allied sovereigns\' visit to England , and exhibited various stalls and shows. The Battle of Trafalgar was re-enacted on the Serpentine, with a band playing the National Anthem while the French fleet sank into the lake. The coronation of King George IV in 1821 was celebrated with a fair in the park, including an air balloon and firework displays.
One of the most important events to take place in Hyde Park was the
Great Exhibition of 1851 .
The Crystal Palace was constructed on the
south side of the park. The public did not want the building to
remain after the closure of the exhibition, and its architect, Joseph
Paxton , raised funds and purchased it. He had it moved to Sydenham
Hill in South London. Another significant event was the first
Victoria Cross investiture, on 26 June 1857, when 62 men were
The Hyde Park Lido first opened in 1930. It was designed by the Commissioner of Works, George Lansbury , and still sees regular use in the summer.
As part of the Queen\'s Silver Jubilee in 1977, a Jubilee Exhibition was set up in Hyde Park. In 2012, a major festival took place in the park as part of the Queen\'s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. The Winter Wonderland festival has been a popular Christmas event in Hyde Park since 2007.
On 20 July 1982, in the
Hyde Park and Regents Park bombings , two
devices linked to the
Provisional Irish Republican Army caused the
death of eight members of the
Since 2007, Hyde Park has played host to the annual Winter Wonderland event, which features numerous Christmas-themed markets, along with various rides and attractions, alongside bars and restaurants. It has become one of the largest Christmas events in Europe, having attracted over 14 million visitors as of 2016.
On 18 September 2010, Hyde Park was the setting for a prayer vigil with Pope Benedict XVI as part of his visit to the United Kingdom , attended by around 80,000 people.
Decimus Burton 's Hyde Park Gate/Screen
During the late 18th century, plans were made to replace the old toll
Hyde Park Corner with a grander entrance, following the
gentrification of the area surrounding it. The first design was put
Following the construction of
An early description reports:
"It consists of a screen of handsome fluted Ionic columns , with three carriage entrance archways, two foot entrances, a lodge, etc. The extent of the whole frontage is about 107 ft (33 m). The central entrance has a bold projection: the entablature is supported by four columns; and the volutes of the capitals of the outside column on each side of the gateway are formed in an angular direction, so as to exhibit two complete faces to view. The two side gateways, in their elevations, present two insulated Ionic columns, flanked by antae. All these entrances are finished by a blocking, the sides of the central one being decorated with a beautiful frieze, representing a naval and military triumphal procession. This frieze was designed by Mr. Henning, junior, the son of Mr. Henning who was well known for his models of the Elgin Marbles . The gates were manufactured by Messrs. Bramah . They are of iron, bronzed, and fixed or hung to the piers by rings of gun-metal. The design consists of a beautiful arrangement of the Greek honeysuckle ornament ; the parts being well defined, and the raffles of the leaves brought out in a most extraordinary manner."
The 7 July Memorial to the victims of the 7 July 2005 London bombings
Popular areas within Hyde Park include Speakers\' Corner (located in
the northeast corner near
Flowers were first planted in Hyde Park in 1860 by William Andrews
Nesfield . The next year, the Italian Water Garden was constructed at
Victoria Gate, including fountains and a summer house . Queen Anne's
Alcove was designed by Sir
During the late 20th century, over 9,000 elm trees in Hyde Park were
Dutch elm disease
There are a number of assorted statues and memorials around Hyde
Park. The Cavalry Memorial was built in 1924 at Stanhope Gate. It
moved to the Serpentine Road when
Park Lane was widened to traffic in
1961. South of the Serpentine is the Diana, Princess of Wales
memorial , an oval stone ring fountain opened on 6 July 2004. To the
east of the Serpentine, just beyond the dam, is London's Holocaust
Memorial . The
7 July Memorial in the park commemorates the victims
of 7 July 2005
The Standing Stone is a 7-tonne monolith at the centre of the Dell,
to the east of Hyde Park. Made of Cornish stone, it was originally
part of a drinking fountain, though an urban legend was established,
claiming it was brought from
An assortment of unusual sculptures are scattered around the park, including: Still Water , a massive horse head lapping up water; Jelly Baby Family, a family of giant Jelly Babies standing on top of a large black cube; and Vroom Vroom, which resembles a giant human hand pushing a toy car along the ground. The sculptor Jacob Epstein constructed several works in Hyde Park. His memorial to the author William Henry Hudson , featuring his character Rima caused public outrage when it was unveiled in 1925.
There has been a fountain at Grosvenor Gate since 1863, designed by Alexander Munro . There is another fountain opposite Mount Street on the park's eastern edge.
A Protestant Christian protesting at Speakers' Corner in 2010
Speakers' Corner has acquired an international reputation
for demonstrations and other protests due to its tolerance of free
speech . In 1855, a protest at the park was organised to demonstrate
against Robert Grosvenor 's attempt to ban
Sunday trading , including
a restriction on pub opening times.
In 1867 the policing of the park was entrusted to the Metropolitan Police , the only royal park so managed, due to the potential for trouble at Speakers' Corner. A Metropolitan Police station ('AH') is situated in the middle of the park. The 1872 Parks Regulation Act created positions of "park keeper" and also provided that "Every police constable belonging to the police force of the district in which any park, garden, or possession to which this Act applies is situate shall have the powers, privileges, and immunities of a park-keeper within such park, garden, or possession." The Free Hugs Campaign has taken place several times at Speaker's Corner.
Speaker's Corner became increasingly popular in the late 19th century. Visitors brought along placards, stepladders and soap boxes in order to stand out from others, while heckling of speakers was popular. Donald Soper, Baron Soper was a regular visitor throughout the 20th century, until just before his death in 1998. The rise of the Internet, particularly blogs , has diminished the importance of Speaker's Corner as a political platform, and it is increasingly seen as simply a tourist attraction.
As well as Speaker's Corner, several important mass demonstrations
have occurred in Hyde Park. On 26 July 1886, the
Reform League staged
a march from their headquarters towards the park, campaigning for
increased suffrage and representation. Though the police had closed
the park, the crowd managed to break down the perimeter railings and
get inside, leading to the event being dubbed "The Hyde Park Railings
Affair". After the protests turned violent, three squadrons of Horse
Guards and numerous Foot Guards were sent out from
See also: List of concerts in Hyde Park
The bandstand in Hyde Park was originally built in Kensington Gardens
in 1869, moving to its current location in 1886. It became a popular
place for concerts in the 1890s, featuring up to three every week.
Military and brass bands continued to play into the 20th century.
Pink Floyd performing at
The music management company
Blackhill Enterprises held the first
rock concert in Hyde Park on 29 June 1968, attended by 15,000 people.
On the bill were
Pink Floyd , Roy Harper and Jethro Tull , while John
Peel later said it was "the nicest concert I’ve ever been to".
Subsequently, Hyde Park has featured some of the most significant
concerts in rock. The supergroup
Blind Faith (featuring Eric Clapton
Steve Winwood ) played their debut gig in Hyde Park on 7 June
The Rolling Stones
Queen played a free concert organised by Richard Branson in the park on 18 September 1976, partway through recording the album A Day at the Races . The band drew an audience of 150,000 – 200,000, which remains the largest crowd for a Hyde Park concert. The group were not allowed to play an encore, and police threatened to arrest frontman Freddie Mercury if he attempted to do so.
Acts from each of the four nations in the UK played a gig in the park
as part of the opening ceremony for the
2012 Summer Olympics . The
Local residents have become critical of Hyde Park as a concert venue,
due to the sound levels, and have campaigned for a maximum sound level
of 73 decibels . In June 2012,
Hyde Park contains several sporting facilities, including several
football pitches and a
In 1998 British artist Marion Coutts recreated Hyde Park, along with Battersea and Regent\'s Park , as a set of asymmetrical ping-pong tables for her interactive installation Fresh Air.
2012 Summer Olympics , the park hosted the triathlon , which
Alistair Brownlee and
Jonathan Brownlee took the Gold and
Bronze medals for
Entrance to Hyde Park Corner tube station , with the Grand Entrance to the left
There are five
Hyde Park Corner (
Bayswater tube station
* ^ By comparison, the combined area of Hyde Park and Kensington
Gardens is larger than the Principality of
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