I spent a great deal of time in St. James’s Park on Jubilee Weekend because of its proximity to Buckingham Palace and The Mall where many of the regal activities took place.
Skirted by three royal palaces–the ancient Palace of Westminster (now known as The Houses of Parliament), the Tudor styled St. James’s Palace, and Buckingham Palace where the Monarch has lived since 1837–St. James’s Park is located in the heart of historic London. It is also one of the most beautiful parks in the city.
In 1536, King Henry VIII decided to turn the marshy farmland and woods into a deer park conveniently located near his palace at Westminster.
He acquired the land and eventually built a hunting lodge on it which finally became St. James’s Palace.
St. Jame’s Palace borders two worlds, the park and The Mall on one side, and a busy London Street on the other.
After many reincarnations, the park got another makeover in the 1820s in the naturalistic style when George IV did a major renovation project creating many of London’s best-known landmarks, including Regent’s Park and The Mall as a grand boulevard.
It was overseen by landscaper and architect, John Nash. His design is pretty much as you see the park today.
You may picnic in the park, but many people prefer to just stroll through the grounds admiring the flower beds…
…and seeing the amazing collection of wildlife. With over 5.5 million visitors a year it is amazing that the habitat survives.
But survive it does, and flourishes. There are over 15 different species of waterfowl in the park.
To commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, The Royal Parks fashioned a magnificent crown which is a floral replica of the St. Edwards Crown that was used in the crowning of Queen Elizabeth II during her coronation ceremony on 2 June 1953.
I could have spent many more hours just getting to know the park a little bit better. It makes me want to return for a sketching day along the lake. For more information on the Park, visit their website with a click here.