Green Park

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Green Park
Green Park, London - April 2007.jpg
Type Public park
Location London, England, United Kingdom
Coordinates 51°30′15″N 0°08′37″W / 51.50417°N 0.14361°W / 51.50417; -0.14361Coordinates: 51°30′15″N 0°08′37″W / 51.50417°N 0.14361°W / 51.50417; -0.14361
Area 19 hectares (47 acres)
Operated by The Royal Parks

Green Park is a park in the City of Westminster, central London. One of the Royal Parks of London, it covers 19 hectares (47 acres)[1] between Hyde Park and St. James's Park. Together with Kensington Gardens and the gardens of Buckingham Palace, these parks form an almost unbroken stretch of open land reaching from Whitehall and Victoria station to Kensington and Notting Hill.

By contrast with its neighbours, Green Park has no lakes, no buildings and few monuments, having only the Canada Memorial by Pierre Granche, the Constance Fund Fountain and the RAF Bomber Command Memorial, opened in 2012.

The park consists almost entirely of mature trees rising out of turf; the only flowers are naturalized narcissus. The park is bounded on the south by Constitution Hill, on the east by the pedestrian Queen's Walk, and on the north by Piccadilly. It meets St. James's Park at Queen's Gardens with the Victoria Memorial at its centre, opposite the entrance to Buckingham Palace. To the south is the ceremonial avenue of the Mall, and the buildings of St James's Palace and Clarence House overlook the park to the east. Green Park tube station is a major interchange located on Piccadilly, Victoria and Jubilee lines near the north end of Queen's Walk.

History[edit]

The park is said to have originally been a swampy burial ground for lepers from the nearby hospital at St James's. It was first enclosed in the 16th century when it formed part of the estate of the Poulteney family. In 1668 an area of the Poulteney estate known as Sandpit Field was surrendered to Charles II, who made the bulk of the land into a Royal Park, as "Upper St James's Park" and enclosed it with a brick wall.[2] He laid out the park's main walks and built an icehouse there to supply him with ice for cooling drinks in summer.

The Queen's Walk was laid out for George II's queen Caroline; it led to the reservoir that held drinking water for St James's Palace, called the Queen's Basin.

At the time, the park was on the outskirts of London and remained an isolated area well into the 18th century, when it was known as a haunt of highwaymen and thieves; Horace Walpole was one of many to be robbed there.[3] It was a popular place for ballooning attempts and public firework displays during the 18th and 19th centuries. Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks was composed specifically for a fireworks celebration held in Green Park in 1749.[4] The park was also known as a duelling ground; one particularly notorious duel took place there in 1730 between William Pulteney, 1st Earl of Bath and John Hervey, 1st Earl of Bristol.[5]

John Nash landscaped the park in 1820, as an adjunct to St. James's Park.

It was next to the park that was also the site for Edward Oxford's assassination attempt on Queen Victoria on 10 June 1840.

There are Government offices and corridors, linking the nearby Royal palaces, beneath the east side of Green Park, which continue to run to the south. These are clearly visible on the edges of Green Park and St. James's Park, with the glass roofs just below ground level. The rooms are thought to be conversions of some of the tunnels built as part of the Cabinet War Rooms from the Second World War.

Beneath Green Park still runs Tyburn stream.[6]

Gallery[edit]

Green Park and Constitution Hill 
Green Park, London 
Canada Gate, located on the south side of the park 
Pierre Granche's Canada Memorial in Green Park, London, near Buckingham Palace 
Green Park and St. James's Park c.1833 
Buckingham Palace seen from Green Park 

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Green Park". The Royal Parks. Retrieved 2013-12-07. 
  2. ^ 'The Bailiwick of St. James', Survey of London: volumes 29 and 30: St James Westminster, Part 1 (1960), pp. 21-28. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=40542. Date accessed: 29 January 2008.
  3. ^ "Green Park". The Encyclopedia of London, eds. Ben Weinreb, Christopher Hibbert. Macmillan, 1992.
  4. ^ "Fireworks Music" The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. Michael Kennedy. Oxford University Press, 2007.
  5. ^ London: what to see, and how to see it, p. 61. H.G. Clarke, 1862.
  6. ^ Royal Parks website: Green Park

External links[edit]