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Changes Since 1800

The formal 17th century Grand Plan remained virtually unaltered until the early 1800s. Even today after 200 years of changing usage and changing planting needs and fashions, the outline of many of the avenues can still be seen and are gradually being replanted.

"The Rounds" had gone when Mr Webster, perhaps the Park’s best-known superintendent, wrote his 1902 book Greenwich Park: Its History and Associations: "Keepers’ cottages and orchards have gone and the Wilderness, now the Deer Park, once stretched as far as the Vanburgh Castle entrance."

Horticultural interest

was added to the Park in the 19th and 20th centuries

  • 1898 - the American Garden and the Dell along the south west wall of the park were planted with ericaceous shrubs, a rockery and rhododendrons
  • 1925 - the Flower Garden with its cedar lawns and formal circular beds were laid out
  • 1925 - the Queen’s House herbaceous border, the longest in London, was added
  • 1950s - the Observatory Garden, at one time a gravel pit, was enclosed and its terraced slopes planted up
  • 1961 - the Rose Garden adjoining the Ranger’s House was created and then extended in 1994
  • 1990s - the Herb Garden was designed and planted

Open to the Public

Members of the public have been enjoying the Park since the early 1700s when passes were issued to local people. The park was opened to the general public on special occasions such as the twice-yearly Greenwich Fairs (suppressed in 1857 for rowdiness). In 1830 the park was opened to all.

Today the Park is visited by many thousands of visitors, both local and tourists, all the year round. They enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, can exercise, watch wildlife and appreciate the views and the history of one of the most popular Royal Parks.