The Tideway is the part of the River Thames in England, subject to tides. This stretch of water is downstream from Teddington Lock and in its widest definition is just under 160 kilometres long; the Tideway includes the Thames Gateway and the Pool of London. Depending on the time of year, the river tide rises and falls twice a day by up to 7 m and, due to the need to overcome the outflow of fresh water from the Thames Basin, it takes longer to subside than it does to flow in. London Bridge is used as the basis for published tide tables giving the times of high tide. High tide reaches Putney about 30 minutes later. Low-lying banks of London have been defended against natural vulnerability to flooding by storm surges; the threat has increased due to a slow but continuous rise in high water level, caused by the slow'tilting' of Britain due to post-glacial rebound and the gradual rise in sea levels due to climate change. The Thames Barrier was constructed across the Thames at Woolwich to deal with this threat.
The Tideway is managed by the Port of London Authority and is referred to as the Port of London. The upstream limit of its authority is marked by an obelisk just short of Teddington Lock; the PLA is responsible for one lock on the Thames: Richmond Lock. In London, the Thames is policed by the Thames Division, the river police arm of London’s Metropolitan Police. Essex Police and Kent Police have responsibilities for the rest of the Tideway. 21st century criminal investigations have included the Roberto Torso in the Thames cases. The London Fire Brigade has a fire boat on the river; as a result of the Marchioness disaster in 1989 when 51 people died, the Government asked the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the Port of London Authority and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution to work together to set up a dedicated Search and Rescue service for the tidal River Thames. As a result, there are four lifeboat stations on the Thames, at: Teddington, Chiswick Pier, Tower Pier and Gravesend; the river is navigable to large ocean-going ships as far as the Pool of London at London Bridge and is the United Kingdom's second largest port by tonnage.
Today, little commercial traffic passes above the Thames Barrier, central London sees only the occasional visiting cruise ship or warship moored alongside HMS Belfast, a few smaller aggregate or refuse vessels, operating from wharves in the west of London. Most trade is handled by the Port of Tilbury, ro-ro ferry terminals at Dagenham and Dartford, petroleum products handling facilities at Purfleet and Canvey Island. There is a speed limit of 8 knots west of Wandsworth Bridge and in tributary creeks, except for authorised vehicles, 12 knots between Wandsworth Bridge and Margaretness; the tidal river is used for leisure navigation. In London sections there are many sightseeing tours in tourist boats past riverside attractions such as the Houses of Parliament and the Tower of London, as well as regular riverboat services provided by London River Services; this section is not suitable for sporting activity because of the strong stream through the bridges. Rowing has a significant presence upstream of Putney Bridge, while sailing takes place in the same area and along the coasts of the Estuary.
The annual Great River Race for traditional rowed craft takes place over the stretch from Greenwich to Ham. Thames meander challenges along the length of the Thames from Lechlade pass through the London sections and finish well downstream, for example at Gravesend Pier; the Grand Union Canal joins the river at Brentford, with a branch – the Regent's Canal – joining at Limehouse Basin. The other part of the canal network still connecting on the Tideway is the River Lea Navigation. Narrow low-lying belts beside the tidal section of the Thames flood at spring tides, supporting brackish plants. One such example is at Chiswick Lane South, where the river, as pictured, overflows this road a few times per year.. Although water quality has improved over the last 40 years and efforts to clean up the Tideway have led to the reintroduction of marine life and birds, the environment of the Tideway is still poor. Heavier rainfall in London causes overflows from pipes on the river banks from the standard type of sewer in the capital, the combined sewer.
Around 39,000,000 m3 or 39 million tonnes of untreated sewage mixed with rainwater are released into the Tideway each year from sewage treatment works and combined sewer overflows, averaging 106,849 m3 per day or 106,849 tonnes per day. These CSOs can cause the deaths of marine health hazards for river users; the Thames Tideway Scheme, under construction, aims to divert most of the overflow from sewers into a tunnel under the river. The Thames Estuary is bordered by the coast and the low-lying lands upstream between the mouth of the River Stour on the Essex/Suffolk border and The Swale in north Kent, it is now designated the Greater Thames Estuary and is one of the largest inlets on the coast of Great Britain. The water can rise by 4 metres moving at a speed of 8 miles per hour; the estuary extends into London near Tower Bridge, can be divided into the Outer Estuary up to the Swale at the west end of the Isle of Sheppey, the Inner Estuary, designated the Thames Gateway above this point. The shore of the Outer Estuary consists of saltmarshes and mudflats, but there are man-made embankments along much of the route.
Behind these, the land is used for grazing. Parts of the Outer Estuary are on a major shipping route; the Gateway is some 70 kilometres long, stretching from the Isle of Sheppey to Westferry in Tower Hamlets
Empress Matilda known as the Empress Maude, was one of the claimants to the English throne during the civil war known as the Anarchy. The daughter of King Henry I of England, she moved to Germany as a child when she married the future Holy Roman Emperor Henry V, she travelled with her husband into Italy in 1116, was controversially crowned in St. Peter's Basilica, acted as the imperial regent in Italy. Matilda and Henry had no children, when Henry died in 1125, the crown was claimed by Lothair II, one of his political enemies. Meanwhile, Matilda's younger brother, William Adelin, died in the White Ship disaster of 1120, leaving England facing a potential succession crisis. On Emperor Henry V's death, Matilda was recalled to Normandy by her father, who arranged for her to marry Geoffrey of Anjou to form an alliance to protect his southern borders. Henry I had no further legitimate children and nominated Matilda as his heir, making his court swear an oath of loyalty to her and her successors, but the decision was not popular in the Anglo-Norman court.
Henry died in 1135, but Matilda and Geoffrey faced opposition from the Norman barons and were unable to pursue their claims. The throne was instead taken by Matilda's cousin Stephen of Blois, who enjoyed the backing of the English Church. Stephen took steps to solidify his new regime but faced threats both from neighbouring powers and from opponents within his kingdom. In 1139, Matilda crossed to England to take the kingdom by force, supported by her half-brother, Robert of Gloucester, her uncle, King David I of Scotland, while Geoffrey focused on conquering Normandy. Matilda's forces captured Stephen at the Battle of Lincoln in 1141, but the Empress's attempt to be crowned at Westminster collapsed in the face of bitter opposition from the London crowds; as a result of this retreat, Matilda was never formally declared Queen of England, was instead titled the Lady of the English. Robert was captured following the Rout of Winchester in 1141, Matilda agreed to exchange him for Stephen. Matilda became trapped in Oxford Castle by Stephen's forces that winter, was forced to escape across the frozen River Isis at night to avoid capture.
The war degenerated into a stalemate, with Matilda controlling much of the south-west of England, Stephen the south-east and the Midlands. Large parts of the rest of the country were in the hands of independent barons. Matilda returned to Normandy, now in the hands of her husband, in 1148, leaving her eldest son to continue the campaign in England, she settled her court near Rouen and for the rest of her life concerned herself with the administration of Normandy, acting on Henry's behalf when necessary. In the early years of her son's reign, she provided political advice and attempted to mediate during the Becket controversy, she worked extensively with the Church, founding Cistercian monasteries, was known for her piety. She was buried under the high altar at Bec Abbey after her death in 1167. Matilda was born to Henry I, King of England and Duke of Normandy, his first wife, Matilda of Scotland around 7 February 1102 at Sutton Courtenay in Oxfordshire. Henry was the youngest son of William the Conqueror, who had invaded England in 1066, creating an empire stretching into Wales.
The invasion had created an Anglo-Norman elite, many with estates spread across both sides of the English Channel. These barons had close links to the kingdom of France, a loose collection of counties and smaller polities, under only the minimal control of the king, her mother Matilda was the daughter of King Malcolm III of Scotland, a member of the West Saxon royal family, a descendant of Alfred the Great. For Henry, marrying Matilda of Scotland had given his reign increased legitimacy, for her it had been an opportunity for high status and power in England. Matilda had a younger, legitimate brother, William Adelin, her father's relationships with numerous mistresses resulted in around 22 illegitimate siblings. Little is known about Matilda's earliest life, but she stayed with her mother, was taught to read, was educated in religious morals. Among the nobles at her mother's court were her uncle David the King of Scotland, aspiring nobles such as her half-brother Robert of Gloucester, her cousin Stephen of Blois and Brian Fitz Count.
In 1108 Henry left Matilda and her brother in the care of Anselm, the Archbishop of Canterbury, while he travelled to Normandy. There is no detailed description of Matilda's appearance. In late 1108 or early 1109, Henry V the King of the Romans, sent envoys to Normandy proposing that Matilda marry him, wrote separately to her mother on the same matter; the match was attractive to the English king: his daughter would be marrying into one of the most prestigious dynasties in Europe, reaffirming his own questionable, status as the youngest son of a new royal house, gaining him an ally in dealing with France. In return, Henry V would receive a dowry of 10,000 marks, which he needed to fund an expedition to Rome for his coronation as the Holy Roman Emperor; the final details of the deal were negotiated at Westminster in June 1109 and, as a result of her changing status, Matilda attended a royal council for the first time that October. She left England in February 1110 to make her way to Germany; the couple met at Liège before travelling to Utrecht where, on 10 April, they became betrothed.
On 25 July Matilda was crowned Queen of the Romans in a ceremony at Mainz. There
Sloane Square tube station
Sloane Square is a London Underground station in Sloane Square. It is served by the District and Circle lines, between South Kensington and Victoria stations and is in Travelcard Zone 1; the entrance to the station is on the east side of Sloane Square. It is adjacent to the Royal Court Theatre and is the nearest station for Kings Road shopping, the Peter Jones department store and the Cadogan Hall; the station was opened on 24 December 1868 by the District Railway when the company opened the first section of its line between South Kensington and Westminster stations. The construction of the station was complicated by the crossing of the site by the River Westbourne which ran through Hyde Park as the Serpentine Lake and was crossed by the Knight's Bridge at Knightsbridge; the river was carried above the platform in a large iron pipe suspended from girders. It remains in place today; the DR connected to the Metropolitan Railway at South Kensington and, although the two companies were rivals, each company operated its trains over the others tracks in a joint service known as the "Inner Circle".
On 1 February 1872, the DR opened a northbound branch from its station at Earl's Court to connect to the West London Extension Joint Railway to which it connected at Addison Road. From that date the "Outer Circle" service began running over the DR's tracks; the service was run by the London and North Western Railway from Broad Street in the City of London via the North London Line to Willesden Junction the West London Line to Addison Road. From Addison Road it ran over DR tracks to Mansion House. From 1 August 1872, the "Middle Circle" service began operations through Sloane Square running from Moorgate along the MR's tracks on the north side of the Inner Circle to Paddington over the Hammersmith & City Railway track to Latimer Road via a now demolished link, to the West London Line to Addison Road and the DR to Mansion House; the service was operated by the Great Western Railway. On 30 June 1900, the Middle Circle service was withdrawn between Earl's Mansion House. On 31 December 1908 the Outer Circle service was withdrawn.
In the late 1930s, the station building was rebuilt in the modern style and escalators were installed between the ticket hall and the platforms. The new station building did not last long as it was destroyed during World War II. A German bomb that fell in November 1940 killed 37 and injured 79 passengers on a train in the station and destroyed the ticket hall and the glazed roof over the tracks. In 1949, the Metropolitan line operated Inner Circle route was given its own identity on the tube map as the Circle line. By 1951 the station had been rebuilt again in a similar style to the 1930s building; the arched glass roof was not replaced and the current station does not have the light open atmosphere of the original. The office building above the station entrance is a addition; the Hole in the Wall pub on the eastbound platform existed from 1868 to 1985. On 5 April 1960, Peter Llewelyn Davies, one of the Llewelyn Davies boys who were the inspiration for the boy characters of J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, who resented the public association with the character named after him, committed suicide by throwing himself under a train as it was pulling into the station.
On 26 December 1973, a terrorist bomb exploded in the telephone kiosk in the booking office. No one was injured. Sloane Square was considered as a potential station on the long-proposed Chelsea-Hackney line, absorbed into plans for Crossrail 2; the station is no longer on the planned route. London Bus routes 11, 19, 22, 137, 211, 319, 360, 452 and C1, night routes N11, N19, N22 and N137 serve the station. Sloane Square is one of two tube stations mentioned in the song "When you're lying awake" from the operetta Iolanthe by Gilbert and Sullivan. Bruce, J Graeme. Steam to Silver. A history of London Transport Surface Rolling Stock. Capital Transport. ISBN 0-904711-45-5. Horne, Mike; the District Line. Capital Transport. ISBN 1-85414-292-5. Lee, Charles E.. The Metropolitan District Railway; the Oakwood Press. ASIN B0000CJGHS. Rose, Douglas; the London Underground, A Diagrammatic History. Douglas Rose/Capital Transport. ISBN 1-85414-219-4. London Transport Museum Photographic Archive Entrance to station and ticket hall, 1928 Station building, 1930 New ticket hall, 1940 View of platforms looking west, 1940 Destruction to station, 1940 Station rebuilt, 1958
Counter's Creek, ending in Chelsea Creek, the lowest part of which still exists, was a stream that flowed from Kensal Green, by North Kensington and flowed south into the River Thames on the Tideway at Sands End, Fulham. Its remaining open watercourse is the quay of Chelsea Creek. Counter's Creek flowed from Kensal Green, by North Kensington at the confluence of two small headwaters that rose just west of Ladbroke Grove and entered the stream close to Latimer Road just south of St Quintin Avenue; the stream flowed south through Kensal Green Cemetery, Little Wormwood Scrubs, North Kensington, past Shepherds Bush to one side and the Olympia part of Kensington on the other and past Earl's Court and Old or West Brompton on the other. As a vestige, an overflow verdant ditch exists beside Platform 4 of West Brompton Underground Station, it passes Brompton Cemetery and Chelsea F. C. ground at Stamford Bridge. On the left bank where the creek meets the Thames is the former Lots Road Power Station; the tidal mouth is a watercourse, connecting to the Thames with boat moorings and is shown on modern maps as Chelsea Creek.
The upper reaches have been variously known as Pools Creek and Counters Creek. In the Middle Ages, the creek was known as Billingwell Dyche, derived from'Billing's spring or stream', it formed the boundary between the parishes of Fulham. By the eighteenth century the creek had become known as Counter's Creek, believed to derive from'Counter's Bridge' which crossed the creek at the west end of Kensington High Street; this was first recorded in the fourteenth century as'Countessesbrugge', may be called after Matilda/Maud, Countess of Oxford, who in early centuries after the Conquest held the manor of Kensington. Stamford Bridge is considered to be a corruption of'Samfordesbrigge' meaning'the bridge at the sandy ford' where the Fulham Road crosses the brook; the existing Stamford Bridge was built of brick in 1860–2 and has been reconstructed since then. The name is more used to refer to the nearby Stamford Bridge Stadium, the home of Chelsea Football Club. In 1824–8 the lowest part of the creek was developed into the Kensington Canal.
This was taken over by the Bristol Birmingham & Thames Junction Railway in the 1830s and subsequently much was culverted to take the West London Line along its course in 1859–63. This railway route links Clapham Junction to Willesden Junction via Kensington Olympia. Only the lower reach remained in use, supplying coal to Sands End gas works and to Lots Road Power Station; the stream was visible as a surface river on the west side of Little Wormwood Scrubs on Ordnance Survey maps pre-1930 by which time surface water drains had been introduced, some of which fed the sewer, others which conveyed surface water separately. Its depression has been conveniently used since the 19th century and rise of the water closet for the sanitation of the area by building a combined sewer underneath it and to prevent flooding, to construct where the Metropolitan Board of Works and London Boroughs have found affordable, separate surface water drains leading to the Thames. Tributaries of the River Thames List of rivers in England Tim Bradford 2004,'The Groundwater Diaries', London, ISBN 0-00-713083-X Ed Glinert 2003,'The London Compendium', Allen Lane, London, ISBN 0-7139-9688-9 Counter's Creek: In Search Of London's Unknown River
Paddington is an area within the City of Westminster, in central London. First a medieval parish a metropolitan borough, it was integrated with Westminster and Greater London in 1965. Three important landmarks of the district are Paddington station, designed by the celebrated engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel and opened in 1847. A major project called Paddington Waterside aims to regenerate former railway and canal land between 1998 and 2018, the area is seeing many new developments. Offshoot districts are Maida Vale and Bayswater including Lancaster Gate; the earliest extant references to Padington a part of Middlesex, appear in documentation of purported 10th-century land grants to the monks of Westminster by Edgar the Peaceful as confirmed by Archbishop Dunstan. However, the documents' provenance is much and to have been forged after the 1066 Norman conquest. There is no mention of the place in the Domesday Book of 1086, it has been reasonably speculated that a Saxon settlement was located around the intersection of the northern and western Roman roads, corresponding with the Edgware Road and the Harrow and Uxbridge Roads.
A more reliable 12th-century document cited by the cleric Isaac Maddox establishes that part of the land was held by brothers "Richard and William de Padinton". In the Elizabethan and early Stuart era, the rectory and associated estate houses were occupied by the Small family. Nicholas Small was a clothworker, sufficiently well connected to have Holbein paint a portrait of his wife, Jane Small. Nicholas died in 1565 and his wife married again, to Nicholas Parkinson of Paddington who became master of the Clothworker's company. Jane Small continued to live in Paddington after her second husband's death, her manor house was big enough to have been let to Sir John Popham, the attorney general, in the 1580s, they let the building. As the regional population grew in the 17th century, Paddington's ancient Hundred of Ossulstone was split into divisions. By 1773, a contemporary historian felt and wrote that "London may now be said to include two cities, one borough and forty six antient villages... Paddington and Marybone."Roman roads formed the parish's north-eastern and southern boundaries from Marble Arch: Watling Street and.
They were toll roads in much of the 18th century and after the dismantling of the permanent Tyburn gallows "tree" at their junction in 1759 a junction now known as Marble Arch. By 1801, the area saw the start-point of an improved Harrow Road and an arm of the Grand Junction Canal. In the 19th century the part of the parish most sandwiched between Edgware Road and Westbourne Terrace, Gloucester Terrace and Craven Hill, bounded to the south by Bayswater Road, was known as Tyburnia; the district formed the centrepiece of an 1824 masterplan by Samuel Pepys Cockerell to redevelop the Tyburn Estate into a residential area to rival Belgravia. The area was laid out in the mid-1800s when grand squares and cream-stuccoed terraces started to fill the acres between Paddington station and Hyde Park. Despite this, Thackeray described the residential district of Tyburnia as "the elegant, the prosperous, the polite Tyburnia, the most respectable district of the habitable globe." Derivation of the name is uncertain.
Speculative explanations include Padre-ing-tun, Pad-ing-tun, Pæding-tun the last being the cited suggestion of the Victorian Anglo-Saxon scholar John Mitchell Kemble. There is another Paddington in Surrey, recorded in the Domesday Book as "Padendene" and associated with the same ancient family. A lord named Padda is named in the Domesday Book, associated with Suffolk. An 18th-century dictionary gives "Paddington Fair Day. An execution day, Tyburn being in the parish or neighbourhood of Paddington. To dance the Paddington frisk. Public executions were abolished in England in 1868; the Paddington district is centred around Paddington railway station. The conventional recognised boundary of the district is much smaller than the longstanding pre-mid-19th century parish; that parish was equal to the borough abolished in 1965. It is divided from a northern offshoot Maida Vale by the Regent's Canal. In the east of the district around Paddington Green it remains divided from Marylebone by Edgware Road. In the south west it is bounded by western offshoot Bayswater.
A final offshoot, rises to the north west. A lagoon created in the 1810s at the convergence of the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal, the Regent's Canal and the Paddington Basin, it is an important focal point of the Little Venice area. It is reputedly named after the poet. More known as the "Little Venice Lagoon" it contains a small islet known as Browning's Island. Although Browning was thought to have coined the name "Little Venice" for this spot there are strong arguments Lord Byron was responsible. Paddington station is the iconic landmark associated with the area. In the station are statues of
Belgravia is an affluent district in Central London, shared within the authorities of both the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Belgravia is noted for its expensive residential properties. Belgravia was known as Five Fields during the Middle Ages, became a dangerous place due to highwaymen and robberies, it was developed in the early 19th century by Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster under the direction of Thomas Cubitt, focusing on numerous grand terraces centred on Belgrave Square and Eaton Square. Much of Belgravia, known as the Grosvenor Estate, is still owned by a family property company, the Duke of Westminster's Grosvenor Group. Owing to the Leasehold Reform Act 1967, the estate has been forced to sell many freeholds to its former tenants. Belgravia takes its name from one of the Duke of Westminster's subsidiary titles, Viscount Belgrave, in turn derived from Belgrave, Cheshire, a village on land belonging to the Duke. Belgravia is near the former course of a tributary of the River Thames.
The area is in the City of Westminster, with a small part of the western section in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The district lies to the south-west of Buckingham Palace, is bounded notionally by Knightsbridge to the north, Grosvenor Place and Buckingham Palace Road to the east, Pimlico Road to the south, Sloane Street to the west. To the north is Hyde Park, to the northeast is Mayfair and Green Park and to the east is Westminster; the area is residential, the particular exceptions being Belgrave Square in the centre, Eaton Square to the south, Buckingham Palace Gardens to the east. The nearest London Underground stations are Hyde Park Corner and Sloane Square. Victoria station, a major National Rail and coach interchange, is to the east of the district. Frequent bus services run to all areas of Central London from Grosvenor Place; the A4, a major road through West London, the London Inner Ring Road run along the boundaries of Belgravia. The area takes its name from the village of Belgrave, two miles from the Grosvenor family's main country seat of Eaton Hall.
One of the Duke of Westminster's subsidiary titles is Viscount Belgrave. During the Middle Ages, the area was known as the Five Fields and was a series of fields used for grazing, intersected by footpaths; the Westbourne was crossed by Bloody Bridge, so called because it was frequented by robbers and highwaymen, it was unsafe to cross the fields at night. In 1728, a man's body was discovered by five fingers removed. In 1749, a muffin man was left blind. Five Fields' distance from London made it a popular spot for duelling. Despite its reputation for crime and violence, Five Fields was a pleasant area during the daytime, various market gardens were established; the area began to be built up after George III moved to Buckingham House and constructed a row of houses on what is now Grosvenor Place. In the 1820s, Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster asked Thomas Cubitt to design an estate. Most of Belgravia was constructed over the next 30 years. Belgravia is characterised by grand terraces of white stucco houses, is focused on Belgrave Square and Eaton Square.
It was one of London's most fashionable residential districts from its beginnings. After World War II, some of the largest houses ceased to be used as residences, or townhouses for the country gentry and aristocracy, were occupied by embassies, charity headquarters, professional institutions and other businesses. Belgravia has become a quiet district in the heart of London, contrasting with neighbouring districts, which have far more busy shops, large modern office buildings and entertainment venues. Many embassies are located in the area in Belgrave Square. In the early 21st century, some houses are being reconverted to residential use, because offices in old houses are no longer as desirable as they were in the post-war decades, while the number of super-rich in London is at a high level not seen since at least 1939; the average house price in Belgravia, as of March 2010, was £6.6 million, although many houses in Belgravia are among the most expensive anywhere in the world, costing up to £100 million, £4,671 per square foot.
As of 2013, many residential properties in Belgravia were owned by wealthy foreigners who may have other luxury residences in exclusive locations worldwide. The increase in land value has been in sharp contrast to UK average and left the area empty and isolated. Belgrave Square, one of the grandest and largest 19th century squares, is the centrepiece of Belgravia, it was laid out by the property contractor Thomas Cubitt for the 2nd Earl Grosvenor to be the 1st Marquess of Westminster, beginning in 1826. Building was complete by the 1840s; the original scheme consisted of four terraces, each made up of eleven grand white stuccoed houses, apart from the south-east terrace, which had twelve. The numbering is anti-clockwise from west corner mansion No. 12, SW terrace 13–23, south corner mansion No. 24, SE terrace Nos. 25–36, east corner mansion No. 37, NE terrace Nos. 38–48. There is a later detached house at the northern corner, No. 49, built by Cubitt for Sidney Herbert in 1847. The terraces were designed by George Basevi.
The largest of the corner mansions, Seaford House in the east corner, was d
Hyde Park, London
Hyde Park is a Grade I-listed major park in Central London. It is the largest of four Royal Parks that form a chain from the entrance of Kensington Palace through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, via Hyde Park Corner and Green Park past the main entrance to Buckingham Palace; the park is divided by the Long Water lakes. The park was established by Henry VIII in 1536 when he took the land from Westminster Abbey and used it as a hunting ground, it opened to the public in 1637 and became popular for May Day parades. Major improvements occurred in the early 18th century under the direction of Queen Caroline. Several duels took place in Hyde Park during this time involving members of the nobility; the Great Exhibition of 1851 was held in the park, for which The Crystal Palace, designed by Joseph Paxton, was erected. Free speech and demonstrations have been a key feature of Hyde Park since the 19th century. Speaker's Corner has been established as a point of free speech and debate since 1872, while the Chartists, the Reform League, the suffragettes, the Stop the War Coalition have all held protests there.
In the late 20th century, the park became known for holding large-scale free rock music concerts, featuring groups such as Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones and Queen. Major events have continued into the 21st century, such as Live 8 in 2005, the annual Hyde Park Winter Wonderland from 2007. Hyde Park is the largest Royal Park in London, it is bounded on the north by Bayswater Road, to the east by Park Lane, to the south by Knightsbridge. Further north is Paddington, further east. To the southeast, outside the park, is Hyde Park Corner, beyond, Green Park, St. James's Park and Buckingham Palace Gardens; the park has been Grade I listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens since 1987. To the west, Hyde Park merges with Kensington Gardens; the dividing line runs between Alexandra Gate to Victoria Gate via West Carriage Drive and the Serpentine Bridge. The Serpentine is to the south of the park area. Kensington Gardens has been separate from Hyde Park since 1728. Hyde Park covers 142 hectares, Kensington Gardens covers 111 hectares, giving a total area of 253 hectares.
During daylight, the two parks merge seamlessly into each other, but Kensington Gardens closes at dusk, Hyde Park remains open throughout the year from 5 a.m. until midnight. The park's name comes from the Manor of Hyde, the northeast sub-division of the manor of Eia and appears as such in the Domesday Book; the name is believed to be of Saxon origin, means a unit of land, the hide, appropriate for the support of a single family and dependents. Through the Middle Ages, it was property of Westminster Abbey, the woods in the manor were used both for firewood and shelter for game. Hyde Park was created for hunting by Henry Vlll in 1536 after he acquired the manor of Hyde from the Abbey, it was enclosed as a deer park and remained a private hunting ground until James I permitted limited access to gentlefolk, appointing a ranger to take charge. Charles I created the Ring, in 1637 he opened the park to the general public, it became a popular gathering place for May Day celebrations. At the start of the English Civil War in 1642, a series of fortifications were built along the east side of the park, including forts at what is now Marble Arch, Mount Street and Hyde Park Corner.
The latter included a strongpoint where visitors to London could be vetted. In 1652, during the Interregnum, Parliament ordered the 620-acre park to be sold for "ready money", it realised £17,000 with an additional £765 6s 2d for the resident deer. During the Great Plague of London in 1665, Hyde Park was used as a military camp. Following the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, Charles II retook ownership of Hyde Park and enclosed it in a brick wall, he restocked deer in. The May Day parade continued to be a popular event. In 1689, William III moved his residence to Kensington Palace on the far side of Hyde Park and had a drive laid out across its southern edge, known as the King's Private Road; the drive is still in existence as a wide straight gravelled carriage track leading west from Hyde Park Corner across the southern boundary of Hyde Park towards Kensington Palace and now known as Rotten Row a corruption of rotteran, Ratten Row, Route du roi, or rotten. It is believed to be the first road in London to be lit at night, done to deter highwaymen.
In 1749, Horace Walpole was robbed while travelling through the park from Holland House. The row was used by the wealthy for horseback rides in the early 19th century. Hyde Park was a popular duelling spot during the 18th century, with 172 taking place, leading to 63 fatalities; the Hamilton–Mohun Duel took place there in 1712 when Charles Mohun, 4th Baron Mohun fought James Hamilton, 4th Duke of Hamilton. Baron Mohun was killed while the Duke died shortly afterwards. John Wilkes fought Samuel Martin in 1772, as did Richard Brinsley Sheridan with Captain Thomas Mathews over the latter's libellous comments about Sheridan's fiancee Elizabeth Ann Linley. Edward Thurlow, 1st Baron Thurlow fought Andrew Stuart in a Hyde Park duel in 1770. Military executions were common in Hyde Park at this time.