City of Westminster in Greater London County, England, United Kingdom
For His Majesty's Pleasure
Birds, Boats and Bathing
The King swam in the canal in the summer and skated on the ice in winter; He spent many hours feeding his collection of water birds, which included a crane with a wooden leg. The Doge of Venice gave the King two gondolas to sail on his canal and the Russian ambassador sent a pair of pelicans.
The canal was about 2,800ft (850m) long and 100ft (30m) wide and stretched the whole length of the park. It was part of a redesign of St. James's Park which began soon after Charles II became King in 1660. He wanted a pleasure park like ones he had seen in France. As well as the canal, there were avenues of trees and courts to play the new game of Pele Mele. The courts became the known as Pall Mall and The Mall.
Ducks for the King's Table
At one end of the canal there was a duck decoy; a series of narrow linked channels where wild ducks were lured into cages. The ducks were then killed and cooked for the King.
The decoy was later removed to make room for Horse Guards but the site is near the present-day Duck Island facing you. The Island was created in the 1820s when John Nash redesigned the park and turned the canal into the lake you see today.
Erected by The Royal Parks.
Location. 51° 30.232′ N, 0° 7.79′ W. Marker is in City of Westminster, England, in Greater London County. Marker is on Horse Guards Road 0.3 kilometers from The Mall. Touch for map.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Pelicans of St Jame's Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Horse Guards Parade (within shouting distance of this marker); Guards Division Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Duck Island Cottage (about 90 meters away, measured in a direct line); Bali Bombings Memorial (about 150 meters away); The Cádiz Memorial (about 180 meters away); Turkish Gun (about 210 meters away); Royal Artillery South Africa Memorial (about 210 meters away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in City of Westminster.
More about this marker. The marker is found in St. James's Park, along the park path that is between the lake and Horse Guards Road.
Also see . . . Landscape History - St. James's Park (The Royal Parks). Walk the elegant paths of St James's Park today and it is hard to imagine that pigs once grazed here. But, 470 years ago, the St James's area was known mainly for farms, woods and a hospital for (Submitted on November 1, 2017.)
Categories. • Entertainment • Man-Made Features • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on November 1, 2017. This page originally submitted on November 1, 2017, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 96 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on November 1, 2017, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.