For centuries, Hyde Park has provided Royals and members of the public with a green getaway to escape the bustling city streets. As one of the most famous parks in London, it attracts millions of tourists and globetrotters every year.
It is almost a guarantee that anyone visiting our Lancaster Gate hotels will take a trip around the historic grounds of the park and if you’re hoping to discover its beauty, the Lancaster Gate Hotel Hyde Park is the perfect place to start. Here are some interesting facts about the famous greenery that you may never have heard of.
Most people will assume that the park has always been an open greenery in which people can explore but it has actually been private land for a large proportion of its existence. It was initially created in 1536 by King Henry VIII who used it along with his noblemen as a private hunting reserve.
Stolen from monks
Although the creation of the hunting ground is classed as its official opening date, the area now known as Hyde Park was used by local monks long before Henry VIII was hunting deer in it. The Monks of Westminster Abbey used the ground for years as a place of worship and an area to grow plants and find inspiration. It wasn’t long before the King claimed the land for himself and forced the monks to seek refuge elsewhere.
It’s not so big
Although many tourists and visitors to the city often assume that Hyde Park is the biggest greenery in London, it is in fact beaten by three other parks and open spaces. That’s not to say it is small, however. With over 4000 trees, a huge lake and over 350 acres of land, there is plenty of space in Hyde Park to explore during your time at the Park Grand Hotel Lancaster Gate.
Rather unselfishly compared to Henry VIII, it was King Charles I who officially opened the park up to the public. In 1637 a royal decree meant that any member of the public was able to explore the park. It remained relatively unused until 1825 when the layout we are familiar with today was designed by architect, Decimus Burton.
Statues and monuments
There’s more to Hyde Park than meets the eye and tourists can discover all kinds of hidden treasures dotted in and around the trees. One of the most popular monuments is the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain which was built using 545 pieces of genuine Cornish granite. Unlike the many other historical monuments and statues in Hyde Park, this beautiful fountain was made using advanced computer design software and cutting-edge machinery.
If you explore deep into the park, you’ll discover a gorgeous antique bandstand which is still used by performers and buskers from all over the world. What you may not know is that this particular bandstand is one of the oldest in London and was built in 1869, originally placed in Kensington Gardens before being relocated.