Located in Westminster in Greater London, Hyde Park is the largest of London’s Royal Parks that form a line from the entrance to Kensington Palace to past the main entrance of Buckingham Palace.
Facts About Hyde Park
- Hyde Park is a public park and it has an area of approximately 350 acres.
- The park was founded by Henry VIII in 1536. He took the land from Westminster Abbey and established a hunting ground.
- The park was opened to public in 1637 and it was often used as a place to celebrate May Day.
- During the English Civil War a series of forts were constructed along the park’s east side, and in 1665, during London’s Great Plague it was used as a miitary camp.
- During the 18th century more than 170 duels took place in Hyde Park, and more than 60 people were killed, including Charles Mohun and James Hamilton.
- Hyde Park’s lake, the Serpentine, was formed in the 18th century by damming the River Westbourne. A bridge (designed by George Rennie and built in 1826) divides the Serpentine from the Long Water (a lake located in Kensington Gardens).
- The Great Exhibition of 1851 was held at Hyde Park. The Crystal Palace was located on the park’s south side, but it was moved after the event to Sydenham Hill in South London.
- Hyde Park Lido, located on the Serpentine’s south bank, opened in 1930.
- In 2012, Hyde Park hosted a festival as part of the Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.
- The Winter Wonderland event at Hyde Park has been running since 2007, ad includes fairground rides, Christmas market stalls, and bars and restaurants. It is one of Europe’s largest Chrstmas events.
- Although it is claimed by some that the massive Standing Stone located to the east of Hyde Park was taken from Stonehenge by Charles I, it is actually part of an old drinking fountain.
- In 2003, it is reported that more than 1 million people gathered in Hyde Park to protest the Iraq War.
- Hyde Park’s first rock concert was held in 1968. Pink Floyd, Roy Harper, and Jethro Tull played to a crowd of 15,000 people.
- Since then, numerous bands and srtists have performed at Hyde Park, including The Rolling Stones, Queen, Bruce Springsteen, The Who, Elton John, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, R.E.M., and U2.
- During the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, Hyde Park hosted the triathlon, and the open water swimming events.
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