Within the boundaries of Hampton Wick, Teddington, Hampton and Hampton Hill lie 2,000 acres of Royal Park. In the case of Hampton Wick, this area amounts to 95% of the total land of the village but the ten residential buildings actually within the park provide accommodation for less than 100 people out of a total village population exceeding 10,000.
This historical account begins by describing what exists in today's Bushy and Home Parks and then explains how it all came to be. It outlines the earliest history and continues from when William the Conqueror granted land to his companion Norman knights. Then follows the 200-year stewardship of the parks by the Knights Hospitaller of the Order of St John of Jerusalem. The year 1499 saw the beginnings of the use of the parks for royal hunting and sport.
It was Queen Victoria's accession in 1837 which finally marked the end of this royal exclusivity, apart from the continued (and continuing) use of the horse paddocks by the Royal Stud and Stables. Bushy - and later Home - Parks were both thrown open to the public and became (and remain) popular attractions.
The vital role of the Parks in the two World Wars - when Bushy Park was home to 8,000 allied troops - is described along with the current use of the parks for sports (including cricket, tennis, football, hockey, golf, skate-boarding and model yacht sailing) along with its provisions for allotment gardening.
130 maps and illustrations
Price £8.00 + £2.00 pp