The Garden Guide

Book: London Parks and Gardens, 1907
Chapter: Chapter 2 Hyde Park

William III and Rotten Row

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Soon after William III. purchased Kensington Palace from the Earl of Nottingham in 1691, he commenced making a new road through the Park. This became known as the King's Road, or "Route du Roi": a corruption of the latter is Rotten Row, the name now given to King William's Drive. In the eighteenth century it was called the King's Old Road, and the one which George II. made to the south of it was called the King's New Road. When this was finished in 1737, it was intended to turf the older "Rotten Row," but this plan was never carried out. The old road was much thought of at the time it was made, and the lighting of it up at night with 300 lamps caused wonder to all beholders.