Victorian London - Publications - History - The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896 - The Drive and Rotten Row, Hyde Park

The Drive and Rotten Row, Hyde Park - photograph


Hyde Park is the largest breathing-space which can be fairly reckoned as belonging to London itself. It was laid out in the days of King Hal, but was actually sold to private buyers by the Parliament. It was of course reclaimed at the Restoration. Charles II. established the Ring, a fashionable circular drive; but since the early part of the present century this has been superseded by the Drive and the Row. In the former are seen unbroken lines of sumptuous equipages drawn by the finest coach-horses money can purchase, and occupied by some of the best dressed and most beautiful women in the world, who drive here at stated hours. In the Row are to be found those from the same ranks of society who prefer horse-exercise ; the ground being carefully laid down in tan and gravel for their use.