Saint James Park at Westminster, Central London

St James Park
St James Park

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St James Park

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St James Park

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St. James Park

 

St. James Park is the oldest of the Royal Parks of London. It covers an area of 28 hectares and it lies at the southernmost tip of the St. James's area, named after a leper hospital. The park is surrounded by Buckingham Palace, The Mall, St. James's Palace, Horse Guards and Birdcage Walk. It has a small lake, St. James's Park Lake and two islands: Duck Island and West Island. It connects with other parks: Green Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.

St. Jame's Park traces its roots from the swampy marshland purchased by Henry VIII but it was in 1603 when James I had the park drained and landscaped while keeping the fauna in the area. Charles II had the area redesigned by French landscaper Andre Mollet to a more formal manner. Among the improvements include the creation of the 775 by 38 meter canal visible in the old plan and for the first time, the park was opened to the public.

More remodeling happened in the 1800s, with Prince Regent and landscaper John Nash created a more naturally-shaped lake with avenues remodeled to form romantic pathways. Other changes that are viewable today are the turning of The Mall as a processional route of the man-made lake, and having it opened to public transport in 1887. Other parks with lakes are Downing Park in Newburg, New York,

Lake Ruth in Bartow, Florida and the Karori Wildlife Sunctuary near Wellington in New Zealand.