THE LAKE, ST. JAMES'S PARK.
St. James's Park is the prettiest of all the London parks, and its attractions have by no means lessened since the days when it was a favourite resort of the Merry Monarch and his Court. The "canal," as the water was once called, underwent considerable change in the time of Pepys, who refers to the fact in his Diary, and says that here for the first time in his life he saw skating. In 1827-9 the Lake was altered into its present form, and now has a uniform depth of from 3 to 4 feet. One of the chief attractions of the Park is the Ornithological Society's fine collection of water fowl. Across the Lake and the broad space known as the Parade, the horse Guards appears in our view, with the National Liberal Club group of buildings as a dim background.
source: The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896