PRIMROSE HILL

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PRIMROSE HILL

Primrose Hill is a grassy hill north of Regent’s Park, which offers great views over London and which has given its name to an adjacent, affluent, residential area. It's separated from Regent’s Park by Prince Albert Road and London Zoo and is a great place to watch the sun rise and set - or firework displays at New Year. Like Regent's Park, Primrose Hill was once part of a royal chase and is now managed by The Royal Parks Authority. The top of hill is about 200 feet above sea level and is one of 6 protected viewpoints in London. At one time, duels and prize-fights took place there and, apparently, medieval soothsayer Ursula Southeil, aka Mother Shipton, predicted dire consequences if London’s urban sprawl were to engulf it. Whatever, it is now a sacred place to Druids, some of whom believe the hill is an ancient site. However, this might only date from the 18th C, when a learned Welsh stonemason, Edward Williams (Iolo Morganwg) decided it was special.

Primrose Hill was purchased from Eton College in 1841 to extend the parkland available to the poor of north London for open-air recreation. On the summit is a York stone edging with a William Blake inscription: “I have conversed with the spiritual sun. I saw him on Primrose Hill.” An oak tree, ‘Shakespeare’s Oak’, was planted in 1864 in a ceremony watched by a large number of working people to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth. A replacement tree was planted in 1964.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Prince Albert Road
Regent's Park
County
London
Post Code
NW1 7ST
Main Historic Period
N/A
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
London Zoo, Regent's Park, Camden
Primary Management
Royal Parks

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