Hyde Park, 615 acres (249 hectares) in Westminster borough, London, England. Once the manor of Hyde, a part of the old Westminster Abbey property, it became a deer park under Henry VIII. Races were held there in the 17th cent. In 1730, Queen Caroline had an artificial lake, the Serpentine, constructed. It curves diagonally through Hyde Park; in Kensington Gardens the lake is called the Long Water. Distinctive features of the park are Hyde Park Corner (near the Marble Arch), the meeting place of soapbox orators; Rotten Row, a famous bridle path; and the oval, streamlike Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain (near Serpentine Bridge).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.