The royal parks of London are lands originally owned by the monarchy of the United Kingdom for the recreation (mostly hunting) of the royal family. They are part of the hereditary possessions of the Crown. With the increasing urbanisation of London, some of these were preserved as freely accessible open spaces and became public parks with the introduction of the Crown Lands Act 1851. Today there are eight parks formally described by this name and they cover almost 2,000 hectares of land in Greater London. Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Green Park, Regent's Park and St James's Park are the largest green spaces in central London; Bushy Park, Greenwich Park and Richmond Park are in the suburbs.
London's Royal Parks: The Postcard Collection takes the reader on an evocative journey into the past of these much-loved green spaces through a selection of old postcards that offer a fascinating window into their history and continuing development.
Paul Rabbitts has over twenty years of experience in designing, managing and restoring urban parks across the UK. As a qualified Landscape Architect and current Head of Parks for a SE Local Authority, he is also a published author and regular contributor to journals and periodicals. Currently head of parks for Watford Borough Council, he is also project director for the GBP6.5 million restoration of Cassiobury Park, as well as an author on books on Regent's Park, Richmond Park, the royal parks and bandstands, on which he is acknowledged as a UK expert. He has written many books on parks and architecture. He lives in Leighton Buzzard.