Green Park once formed part of Henry VIII’s hunting grounds.
In the 17th century Charles II had it converted (like St James’s Park) into a Royal Park. The park was the site of a number of early balloon ascents and firework extravaganzas. Handel’s ‘Music for the Royal Fireworks’ (celebrating the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748) was written for the most famous of these pyrotechnical displays.
During the 18th century Green Park was also a favourite site for duels. In 1771 the poet Alfieri was wounded in a duel by his mistress’s husband, Viscount Ligonier. However, Alfieri’s injuries did not prevent him dashing back to the Haymarket Theatre in time to watch the last act of a play!
Green Park is so-called because of the absence of flowers.
However, the natural undulating landscape of grass and trees has a spectacular display of daffodils in the spring.
Its mature trees and grassland offer a tranquil retreat from the congested centre of London and its leafy paths a popular venue for early-morning joggers from the Mayfair hotels.