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Friday, October 19, 2007

Sculptures And Fountains

Regent's Park Sculptures and Fountains (website:
In 1650 more than 16000 trees were felled in the area now known as Regent's Park to raise money to pay the cavalry troops. The Prince Regent commissioned the design of Regent's Park in 1811 to celebrate the victory at Waterloo. His favoured architect, John Nash, was in charge of the project. Nash had already designed Marble Arch, Carlton House Terrace and Regent's Street and not only landscaped the park but designed many of the surrounding Regency terraces. His original plan was a housing development for the rich: grand Regency villas set among parkland. Fortunately Parliament intervened and saved the park for public use. It finally opened in 1835.

The park covers 472 acres and includes beekeeping and boating, a secret garden and shady tree-lined avenues, playgrounds, tennis courts and sports fields, a rose scented cafe, an open-air theatre, large expanses of grass, Regency villas and nearby Regent's canal, London zoo and Primrose Hill. The tranquility of this park is only 20 minutes' walk from Oxford Circus.

The design of the park is circular. The Outer Circle defines the park's boundaries. The much smaller Inner Circle contains the Queen Mary's Gardens, the cafe and the Open-Air Theatre. John Nash had planned to build the Prince Reagent's new residence within the Inner Circle. The newly built Regent's Street would have conveniently linked this to his other residence at Carlton House. The Inner Circle was built according to plan but the residence never materialised. Instead the Royal Botanical Society leased the area and when the lease ran out it was developed into Queen Mary's Rose Garden.

Regent's Park is so rich in bird life it has become an officially designated inland bird observatory. The Royal Waterfowl Collection is the largest public collection in the country. There are more than 90 species of swan and a heronry.

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