Green Park was originally a swampy burial ground for lepers and later a hunting ground for King Henry VIII. As with St. James Park, it was converted by Charles II in the seventeenth century into a public park.
After its conversion the park was used for many fireworks displays and for early hot-air balloon flights. Handel’s famous work ‘Music for Royal Fireworks’ was written specifically for one of these spectacular displays. Years later Green Park became a popular site for duellists. In fact Viscount Ligionier wounded the eighteenth century poet Alfieri for having an ongoing affair with his wife! However Alfieri was still able to dash across London to the Hayward Theatre to catch the last act of a play he had been watching.
Green Park was so named because of the total absence of flowers in its boundaries, though there is a breathtaking sea of Daffodils in springtime. The park opens at 5am each morning and is very popular with joggers due to the rolling grass and secluded atmosphere of the park.
Green Park spans more than sixteen hectares, and together with neighbouring St. James Park and Hyde Park forms a band of green that is said to form the heart of London. Green Park charges no admission for entry.