A Walk In The Park

Oh to be in London, and Regent’s Park! The perfect oasis for that sublime, top-of-the-world feeling

11/2/2016 4:57:04 PM
written By : Basabi Banerjee Print

Henry the Eighth  gained much more than his divorce and a new queen when he broke with the authority of the Church of Rome to marry Anne Boleyn in 1533. During the dissolution of the monasteries following the English Reformation, the monarchy acquired all the lands and properties that had belonged to the previous religious establishment. Though no longer a young man in the 1530s, King Henry was eager to indulge his passion for a hunting ground in the north of London, similar to the ones in Hyde Park and Hampton. With this in mind, he acquired the Manor of Tyburn which he proceeded to impark. It was here that Marylebone Park, later the Regent’s Park, had its genesis.

A short walk from where I stay when visiting London, Regent’s Park provides the perfect oasis to indulge my need

‘.........to stand and stare

..........to turn at beauty’s glance

And watch her feet, how they can dance....’ (from Leisure by W.H. Davies). In fact, one of London’s unique attractions is the expansive swathes of green spaces it has created and developed within a frenzied, bustling city.

Regent’s Park was primarily the work of the famous architect John Nash and the Prince Regent, later George the Fourth.  Appointed as an architect to the Chief Commissioner of Woods and Forests in 1806, Nash embraced the grouped manner of planting in which one or two species are planted in considerable numbers for several yards and then gradually blended with two other species and so on. Intent on providing ‘the attraction of open space, free air and the scenery of Nature’ to Londoners, he was also mindful that the buildings in and around the park should be related to the landscape in which they stood. The beautiful, stuccoed Regency villas and terraces to the south, east and west side of the park, provide a fascinating background to the variety of views within: magnificent open parkland, a fascinating assortment of trees and shrubs, lawns, sports pitches, a boating lake and several public gardens such as Queen Mary’s Gardens with its four hundred varieties of roses.

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