REWIND: The 4,000 year history of Bushy Park

  Posted: 14.10.20 at 14:18 by Cameron Eyles

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Bushy Park between Teddington and Hampton is one of the many great reasons for living in the area.

The vast open spaces and magnificent deer make it a terrific place to visit.

But do you know about the history of the park? Well we're here to lift the lid on it...

Ancient History

Bushy Park has been settled for at least 4,000 years!

A Bronze Age barrow & burial mound was excavated near Sandy Lane and the contents are now housed in the British Museum.

Henry VIII

There was also evidence of medieval settlements in the park as well.

Managed by monarchy

When Henry VIII moved into Hampton Court Palace in 1529 he named three parks that make up modern-day Bushy Park and a small area beside: Hare Warren, Middle Park and Bushy Park.

A keen hunter, he established them as deer-hunting grounds.

Charles I added a number of well-known features to the park such as the Longford River which when completed in 1639 cost £9,000 a staggering amount back then!

The Diana Fountain

Chestnut Avenue and the Diana Statue were built during the reign of William III & Mary II (1689-1702).

The idea for the avenue was thought of by St Paul's Cathedral Designer, Sir Christopher Wren.

Bushy Park through the war

During the First World War (WWI), areas of land in the park were turned over to the plough to 'Dig for Victory'.

King George V gave his permission to use Upper Lodge as a home for Canadian Convalescents. Queen Mary visited the troops and made sure entertainment was provided with the help of local people.

Camp Griffiss

This Canadian tie with the park is commemorated by the Totem Pole and the Canadian Glade in the Waterhouse Woodland Gardens.

During the Second World War (WWII) large areas of the parks were again turned over for the production of food.

From 1942, Bushy Park became the site of a large U.S. base called Camp Griffiss, headquarters to a number of the Allied departments. General Dwight Eisenhower was averse to working in the centre of London during the Second World War.

He decided instead to make Bushy Park the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) centre for planning Operation Overlord, the 1944 D-Day.

The Park Today

Now managed by Royal Parks, Bushy is now a popular tourist attraction for those in the area and beyond.

The first ever park run took place in the park in 2004 and has since gone on to be popular across the globe.

The deer continue to be a key part of the park and it is important to respect them with a 50m distance.

If you want more history articles on Teddington and the surrounding areas then email us ideas on [email protected]

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