London Parks & Gardens Trust

The Jubilee Walkway - Western Loop

St James's Park

St James's Park

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Directions

Continue up Waterloo Place towards the Duke of York column. Note the graves of the German Ambassador's dogs on the right just after crossing Carlton House Terrace. From the top of the steps beyond the column, there is a fine view of St James's Park.

Description

The marshy site was acquired in 1532 and drained for a deer park by Henry VIII, who built St James's Palace as a hunting lodge. In the C17th St James's Park was remodelled for James I and later for Charles II, who opened it to the public. Its formal layout had avenues of trees, lawns and a rectangular canal extending for c.900m. In 1828-9 it was drastically re-landscaped by John Nash, and his undulating landscape essentially remains, the lake the central feature with an island at each end, belts of trees along boundaries, extensive lawns and winding paths. Pulham & Co constructed various works in 1895 and 1899, including rockwork on the lake edge, 'Cormorant & Pelican islands' for the park's birdlife and a small rocky pool along the inner bank of the island.