Thursday, January 17, 2019

Kensington Gardens

London The Unfinished City
Kensington Palace and Queen Victoria's statue.

After our initial stop at the Diana Memorial Playground, we made our way south towards Kensington Palace, with the shade from the trees protecting us from the warm summer sun. A few photographs were taken before we headed towards the Round Pond.

From here we continued eastward towards the Long Water, passing the Physical Energy statue, designed by George Frederic Watts and erected in 1907. 

As we approached the Long Water a gust of wind blew Erin's baseball cap, from her head, far out into the water. To say that she was distraught was an understatement! I have never seen such an upset 6 year old. 

After eventually calming her down we continued our walk, this time heading north, passing the Peter Pan statue and continuing on to the Italian Gardens.

Brief History

Kensington Gardens began life as part of Hyde Park, where King Henry VIII used to chase deer. However, in 1689, King William and Queen Mary took the first steps in creating the garden, after buying Nottingham House, which they renamed Kensington Palace. The landscaping was in the Dutch design, so that William would feel more at home.

When Mary's sister, Anne, became Queen in 1702, the garden got considerably bigger, when Anne took 30 acres from Hyde Park and had it landscaped into an English-styled garden.

More changes took place in 1728 when King George II's wife, Queen Caroline, took another 300 acres from Hyde Park and began the turning the gardens into what we know today. The Round Pond was dug out with avenues of trees radiating from it, like spokes on a wheel. The River Westbourne was dammed, which created a lake known as the Long Water.

Besides, the Round Pond, Long Water and various statues, there is also the Queen's Temple and the Albert Memorial to be seen, in these picturesque gardens.

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