The Garden Guide

Book: London Parks and Gardens, 1907
Chapter: Chapter 5 Greenwich Park

Banquetting and pageants in Greenwich Park

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There is no end to the gay scenes that the Park and even some of the most ancient trees have witnessed. "Goodly banquetting houses" were built of "fir poles decked with birch branches and all manner of flowers both of the field and garden, as roses, gilly flowers, lavender, marigold, and all manner of strewing herbs and rushes" (10th July 1572); and many a brilliant pageant took place under the greenwood tree as well as in the Palace, where Shakespeare acted before the Queen. Although the days of sumptuous pageantry ended with Elizabeth, much was done for Greenwich by the Stuarts. James I. replaced the wooden fence of the Park by a brick wall, 12 feet high and 2 miles round. At various times sections have been altered or replaced by iron rails, but the greater part of the wall remains as completed between 1619-25.