St Katherine’s Precinct and Danish Church

‘On the east of the road which encircles the Park is St. Katharine’s Hospital, built by A. Poynter, a pupil of Nash, in 1827, when the “act of barbarism” of removing the Hospital from the East End was committed……. There is nothing to redeem the crude look of uselessness that the new buildings in Regent’s […]

Water supply to Primrose Hill

1           Original Barrow Hill reservoir In the late 18th century, when Camden Town started to develop, London was supplied by pumping from the Thames. The raw water intakes had to be sited progressively further upstream as water quality deteriorated due to pollution from growing industry and the expanding metropolis. The Barrow Hill reservoir was constructed over […]

Water supply to Regent’s Park

The original water supply When Regent’s Park was laid out from 1811 the lake was supplied by the Tyburn Brook. The traditional source of the Tyburn is marked as Shepherds Well, on the corner of Fitzjohn’s Avenue and Akenside Road. The site is handsomely marked by a red-brick memorial and tablet. The Tyburn crossed Avenue […]

The Nursemaids’ Tunnel

The Nursemaids’ Tunnel, Regent’s Park, London is one of the earliest surviving pedestrian subways in London.  It joins the two Crown Estate Paving Commission (CEPC) private gardens, Park Square Garden and Park Crescent Garden, that straddle the Marylebone Road near Regent’s Park Tube station. History A pedestrian tunnel was conceived at an early stage in […]

Our Park is a Film Maker’s Dream

Our park has been a magnet for film makers since at least the 1930’s.  It is estimated that over 170 films have been made in the past 125 years featuring Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill.  Other films have spilled over into neighbourhoods surrounding the park.  The Paddington Bear films are a case in point where […]

Bicentenary of Regent’s Canal to Hampstead Road

The 18th century witnessed a transport revolution as canals extended over much of the Midlands and northern industrial areas. Although plans to link London with the Midlands canal system had been around since the middle of the century these were not realised until the Grand Junction Canal was authorised in 1793, linking the Thames at […]

Bicentenary of opening the Regent’s Canal Part 1: The Canal in the Landscape

Celebrations marking the bicentenary of the Regent’s Canal are on hold. We will not be embarking on a pleasure boat at Hampstead Road Locks to cruise past the site of Gilbey’s former gin distillery as we enjoy a gin cocktail in memory of one of the foremost canal-side industries.The early history and birth of the […]

Bicentenary of opening the Regent’s Canal Part 2:Supplying the metropolis

The story of the Regent’s Canal holds a mirror to the industrial and social history of London. The goods carried by barge were not only for the construction activities that were gathering pace as London expanded rapidly, such as timber and stone, but also commodities for domestic and retail markets. The traffic of goods from […]

Bicentenary of opening the Regent’s Canal Part 3: A long decline

The importance of the Regent’s Canal route through north London was recognised at an early stage by railway promoters, leading to a succession of proposals to turn the canal into a railway. In September 1845, a special general assembly of the proprietors approved the sale of the canal for £1 million to the Regent’s Canal […]

Bicentenary of opening the Regent’s Canal Part 4: Regeneration

The boat trip business had started on the Regent’s Canal in 1951, as part of the Festival of Britain celebrations, growing from 1500 to 100,000 passengers in ten years. The narrowboat ‘Jason’ was the first trip boat, here passing the short stub of the Cumberland Market Branch in 1957 (Canal and River Trust). In 1965, […]

Boundary Markers

In London, old Parish Boundary markers are everywhere.  In Regent’s Park & Primrose Hill they were mainly placed to designate the boundaries between the parishes of St Pancras, St Marylebone, and St John Hampstead.  The ones in the photos below are (clockwise from top left) 1) Broadwalk, 2 &3) Primrose Hill, 4) English Garden Before […]

Bandstands Are Bouncing Back

Regent's Park Bandstand

Bandstands were once the centrepiece of most parks and a feature of the British way of life for over a century.