Lungs of London - Hyde Park

Formerly known as the Manor of Hyde, belonging to the ancient abbey of Westminster. When Henry the VIII dissolved the monastery he took this ground for hunting, by the reign of Elizabeth I, stags and deer were still to be found roaming the park.

Under the reign of William III and Queen Anne some thirty acres of Hyde Park were taken for the gardens of Kensington Palace, with a further 250 taken by Caroline, Queen of George II.

Horse riding is still popular in Hyde Park

The park became famous for its fashionable coach rides and promenades in the reign of Charles II.

In the eighteenth century Hyde Park was a favourite place for duellists and on 15 November 1712, a duel took place between the Duke of Hamilton and Lord Mohun both men were killed.

Just over two hundred years ago no one would have dared to walk from Kensington to the city after nightfall. At Hyde Park Corner a bell was rung at seven and again at nine, people would assemble and proceed in numbers to the city, for safety from the highwaymen. But after George II had been stopped and robbed one night after hunting, the very next morning a troop of armed horsemen were established to police the public streets.

Serpentine, part of the River Westbourne

Queen Caroline created the Serpentine in 1730 by enlarging the bed of the River Westbourne, together with several ponds, into a wide straight canal.

Serpentine Gallery
The Serpentine Gallery.

The original 1934 tea pavilion is now a unique Gallery, set by the banks of the Serpentine lake. The gallery was founded in 1970, With an international reputation for its pioneering exhibitions of modern and contemporary art.

Under the patronage of Diana Princess of Wales, the Serpentine undertook a 4 million renovation. The building work was completed in 1998 with Grade II listed pavilion.
Live Concerts in Hyde Park

Since the 1960's when the Rolling Stones performed a live concert in Hyde Park it has become the venue for some of the largest gigs in London.

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