The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 52 Hampton Court

Bushy Park

Previous - Next

We return to the Broad Walk, adjoining which, to the north of the palace, is the old Tennis Court, originally built by Henry VIII. in 1529, and still used by the Royal Tennis Court Club, the oldest in England. At the north end of the Broad Walk is the Flower-Pot Gate, with putti bearing baskets of flowers on the pillars. To the west lies the Wilderness, laid out by William III., with the celebrated Maze (admission 1d.), the key to which is to turn to the right on the first and second occasions that we have a choice, and thereafter to the left. Still farther west is the former Tilt Yard, now containing hard tennis-courts and a putting-green. We quit the Wilderness by the Lion Gates (ascribed to Tijou), giving on the Kingston Road. On the opposite side of the Kingston road is the entrance to Bushy Park, which also belongs to the Crown. This beautiful park, 1100 acres in area, is noted for its fine old trees and tame deer. Near the Hampton Court gate is an ornamental basin, containing carp and goldfish; in the centre rises the Diana Fountain, with a bronze figure of the goddess, originally set up by Charles II. in the Privy Garden. The chief glory of the park is the triple avenue (over a mile long) of horse-chestnuts and lime-trees, leading thence to Teddington, and originally planted by William III. as an approach to Hampton Court Palace from the north. This avenue makes a beautiful picture in late spring, when the chestnuts are in bloom, and on 'Chestnut Sunday' (usually announced beforehand in the newspapers) attracts crowds of visitors. Teddington Station lies about 1 mile from the north end of the avenue; thence to Richmond. At the Teddington end of the avenue is Bushy House, an old mansion, which, with various new buildings, contains the National Physical Laboratory, founded in 1899.