They started life as royal hunting grounds: Henry VIII created Hyde Park and St James’s Park; Charles I filled Richmond Park with deer in 1625. But over the centuries, the Royal Parks became open to all, providing 5000 acres of green space for the people of London, making it one of the greenest capital cities in the world.
The parks have seen wartime training, protests across the political spectrum, and debauched pleasure gardens. From Speakers’ Corner to the Serpentine Lido, the Royal Parks have provided a gathering place and sanctuary for the city’s ever-changing population.
Looking at Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Richmond Park, Bushy Park, St James’s Park, Green Park, Regent’s Park, and Greenwich Park, London’s Royal Parks will draw upon paintings, drawings, photographs and memorabilia from the Hearsum Collection, Royal Collection Trust, Royal Museums Greenwich and the Museum of London to illustrate the surprising histories of London’s Royal Parks.