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Bushy Park
Type Public park
Location Richmond, London
51°24′46″N 0°20′17″W / 51.41278°N 0.33806°W / 51.41278; -0.33806Coordinates: 51°24′46″N 0°20′17″W / 51.41278°N 0.33806°W / 51.41278; -0.33806
Size 445 hectares (1,100 acres)
Operated by The Royal Parks
Website http://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/bushy_park/
Royal Parks of London

Bushy Park is the second largest of the Royal Parks of London, at 445 hectares (1,100 acres) in area,[1] and lies immediately north of Hampton Court Palace and Hampton Court Park, a few minutes' walk west of Kingston upon Thames. It is in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in south-west London and most of it is open to the public. It is surrounded by Hampton, Hampton Hill, Teddington and Hampton Wick. Its acid grasslands are mostly just above the 25 foot contour.[2]

Contents

History

The area now known as Bushy Park has been settled for at least the past 4,000 years: the earliest archaeological records that have been found on the site date back to the Bronze Age. There is also evidence that the area was used in the medieval period for agricultural purposes.

When Henry VIII took over Hampton Court Palace from Thomas Cardinal Wolsey in 1529, the King also took over the three parks that make up modern day Bushy Park: Hare Warren, Middle Park and Bushy Park. A keen hunter, he established them as deer-hunting grounds.

His successors, perhaps less involved in the traditional sporting activities, added a number of picturesque features, including the Longford River, a 19 kilometre canal built on the orders of Charles I of England to provide water to Hampton Court, as well as the Park's various ponds. This period also saw the construction of the Park's main thoroughfare, Chestnut Avenue, which runs from Park road in Teddington to the Lion Gate entrance of Hampton Court Palace on Hampton Court Road. This Avenue and the Arethusa 'Diana' Fountain were designed by Sir Christopher Wren as a grand approach to Hampton Court Palace. The Park has long been popular with locals, but also attracts those from further afield. From the mid nineteenth Century until World War II Londoners celebrated Chestnut Sunday here, coming to see the blooming of the trees along Chestnut Avenue; the tradition resumed in 1993.

Among those who have served as Ranger (an honorary position, long including residence at Bushy House) are King William IV, while Duke of Clarence (1797–1830). To ensure his wife and consort, Queen Adelaide, could remain at their longtime home after his death, he immediately appointed her as his successor as Ranger (1830–1849).

During World War I, Bushy Park was home to the King's Canadian Hospital, and between the wars hosted a camp for undernourished children.

During World War II, General Dwight D. Eisenhower planned the D-Day landings from Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) at Camp Griffiss in the Park. A memorial by Carlos Rey to the Allied troops who fell on D-Day now marks the spot where General Dwight D. Eisenhower's tent stood.

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The park today

One of the park's deer

Originally created for Royal sport, Bushy Park is now home to Teddington Rugby Club, Teddington Hockey Club (during the late 1800s, the modern game of field hockey was largely invented at Bushy), and four cricket clubs, including Hampton Wick Royal Cricket Club, Teddington Cricket Club and Hampton Hill Cricket Club.

It also has fishing and model boating ponds, horse rides, formal plantations of trees and other plants, wildlife conservation areas and herds of both Red Deer and Fallow Deer.

The park is also home to several lodges and cottages, Bushy House, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) at the Teddington end and the Royal Paddocks, and two areas of allotments, the Royal Paddocks Allotments at Hampton Wick and the Bushy Park Allotments at Hampton Hill.

Local transport

The closest train stations are Hampton Court to the south, Hampton Wick to the east, Teddington and Fulwell to the north, and Hampton to the west. All are within a 10- to 20-minute walk.

Transport for London bus routes, including the 111, 216, 265, and 411 services, all pass by the Hampton Court Gate (the main southern entrance to the Park). The R70, R68 and 285 stop near the Hampton Hill gates, and the R68 serves every gate from the NPL in Teddington all the way to Hampton Court Green.

Gallery

Dukes Head walk in Winter  
Tablet marking the location of the US Army Air Forces European headquarters  

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/bushy_park/
  2. ^ Bushy Park: Royals, Rangers and Rogues, Kathy White and Peter Foster, Foundry Press (1997) ISBN 0953024504

External links


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