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Encyclopedia > Serpentine (lake)
Serpentine
Serpentine - Serpentine Bridge from Kensington Gardens
Serpentine Bridge from Kensington Gardens
Location London, England
Coordinates 51°30′19″N, 0°10′10″WCoordinates: 51°30′19″N, 0°10′10″W
Lake type artificial lake
Primary sources River Westbourne
Primary outflows River Westbourne
Basin countries England

The Serpentine (also known as the Serpentine River) is a 28-acre (11.34 ha) recreational lake in Hyde Park, London, England, created in 1730. Although it is common to refer to the entire body of water as the Serpentine, strictly the name refers only to the eastern half of the lake. Serpentine Bridge, which marks the boundary between Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, also marks the western boundary of the Serpentine; the long and narrow western half of the lake is known as the Long Water. The Serpentine takes its name from its snakelike, curving shape.[1] Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 597 pixelsFull resolution (3214 × 2399 pixel, file size: 2. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ... For other uses, see Lake (disambiguation). ... The River Westbourne is a river in London, England. ... The River Westbourne is a river in London, England. ... A drainage basin is the area within the drainage basin divide (blue outline), and drains the surface runoff and river discharge (green lines) of a contiguous area. ... A reservoir (French: réservoir) is an artificial lake created by flooding land behind a dam. ... “Hyde Park” redirects here. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... See also Kensington Gardens, South Australia, a suburb of Adelaide, Australia Kensington Gardens, once the private gardens of Kensington Palace, is one of the Royal Parks of London, lying immediately to the west of Hyde Park. ...

Contents

Geography of the lake

History

Detail of the 1746 Rocque map showing the newly-constructed Serpentine. The paths converging on the Round Pond to the west of the lake are also visible.
Detail of the 1746 Rocque map showing the newly-constructed Serpentine. The paths converging on the Round Pond to the west of the lake are also visible.

In 1730 Queen Caroline, wife of George II, ordered the damming of the River Westbourne in Hyde Park as part of a general redevelopment of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.[2] At that time, the Westbourne formed eleven natural ponds in the park. During the 1730s, the lake filled to its current size and shape. The redevelopment was carried out by Royal Gardener Charles Bridgeman, who dammed the Westbourne to create the artificial lake, and also dug a large pond in the centre of Kensington Gardens (the Round Pond) to be a focal point for pathways in the park.[3] Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... John Rocque (originally Jean, b. ... Caroline of Ansbach (later Queen Caroline; Wilhelmina Charlotte Caroline; 1 March 1683 – 20 November 1737) was the queen consort of George II. // Margravine Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach was born on 1 March 1683, at Ansbach in Germany, the daughter of Johann Friedrich, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach and his second wife... George II (George Augustus; 10 November 1683 – 25 October 1760) was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) and Archtreasurer and Prince-Elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 until his death. ... The River Westbourne is a river in London, England. ... Charles Bridgeman (1690-1738) was an English garden designer in the onset of the naturalistic landscape style. ...


At the time of construction, artificial lakes were long and straight. The Serpentine was one of the earliest artificial lakes designed to appear natural,[4] and was widely imitated in parks and gardens nationwide.[4]

The Long Water from the Italian Garden. Large numbers of mute swans nest in this area.
The Long Water from the Italian Garden. Large numbers of mute swans nest in this area.

The lake achieved notoriety in December 1816 when Harriet Westbrook, the pregnant wife of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, was found drowned in the Serpentine[5] having left a suicide note addressed to her father, sister and husband.[6] Shelley married Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin less than two weeks later. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 774 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (3043 × 2357 pixel, file size: 2. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 774 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (3043 × 2357 pixel, file size: 2. ... Binomial name (Gmelin, 1789) Synonyms Anas olor Gmelin, 1789 Cygnus olor immutabilis var. ... Percy Bysshe Shelley (August 4, 1792 – July 8, 1822; pronounced ) was one of the major English Romantic poets and is widely considered to be among the finest lyric poets of the English language. ... Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (née Godwin) (30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was an English romantic/gothic novelist and the author of Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. ...

Serpentine Bridge
Serpentine Bridge

The lake formed a focal point for the 1814 celebrations commemorating the British victory at Trafalgar, and of the 1851 Great Exhibition, with The Crystal Palace standing on its southern shore.[4] Following the introduction of more stringent regulations to protect the environment in the park, the relocation of the Crystal Palace, and the construction of the nearby Albertopolis complex of museums and exhibitions, large-scale events ceased to take place on the banks of the Serpentine. However, it was the location for the 1977 Silver Jubilee celebrations,[2] and will serve as a venue for the 2012 Olympics.[7] Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 473 pixelsFull resolution (3264 × 1931 pixel, file size: 2. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 473 pixelsFull resolution (3264 × 1931 pixel, file size: 2. ... Combatants United Kingdom First French Empire Kingdom of Spain Commanders Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson † Pierre Charles Silvestre de Villeneuve Strength 27 ships of the line and 6 others. ... The Great Exhibition: Paxtons Crystal Palace enclosed full-grown trees in Hyde Park. ... For other uses, see Crystal Palace. ... Albertopolis is a nickname for the area centered around South Kensington, London, between Cromwell Road and Kensington Gore, which contains a large number of educational and cultural sites, including Imperial College London Natural History Museum Royal Albert Hall Royal College of Art Royal College of Music Royal Geographical Society Science... Elizabeth IIs Silver Jubilee and her domestic and international visits proved very popular with her subjects. ... (Redirected from 2012 Olympics) Nine cities submitted bids for the 2012 Summer Olympics, and five have made it to the shortlist for hosting the Games of the XXX Olympiad. ...


In the 1820s, the park was extensively redesigned by Decimus Burton. At the same time, John Rennie built the Serpentine Bridge to carry the newly built West Carriage Drive along the boundary between Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, formally dividing the lake into the Serpentine (east) and the Long Water (west).[4] Decimus Burton (30 September 1800-December 1881) was a prolific English architect and garden designer, particularly associated with projects in the classical style in London parks, including buildings at Kew Gardens and London Zoo, and with the layout and architecture of the seaside towns of Fleetwood and St Leonards on... For other persons of the same name, see John Rennie the Elder. ...

View across the Long Water to Kensington Palace
View across the Long Water to Kensington Palace
Edward Jenner Memorial
Edward Jenner Memorial

Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 468 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (2448 × 3133 pixel, file size: 2. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 468 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (2448 × 3133 pixel, file size: 2. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 671 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (2741 × 2448 pixel, file size: 3. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 671 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (2741 × 2448 pixel, file size: 3. ...

The Long Water

At the northern end of the Long Water, the Westbourne River feeds the four fountains which in turn feed the lake. Surrounded by classical statuary and sculpture, the area is officially known as the Italian Gardens.[8] A large bronze memorial to Edward Jenner, the developer of modern vaccination, dominates the area; it was originally located in Trafalgar Square in 1858, but four years later was moved to its present site.[9] In recent years there has been an ongoing campaign for the memorial to be moved to the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square.[10][11] Portrait of Edward Jenner Edward Jenner, FRS, (17 May 1749 – 26 January 1823) was an English country doctor who studied nature and his natural surroundings from childhood and practiced medicine in Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England. ... A vial of the vaccine against influenza. ... Trafalgar Square viewed from the northeast corner. ... Trafalgar Square viewed from the northeast corner. ...


The Long Water is surrounded by dense overgrowth for much of its length, and is relatively undeveloped in comparison to the Serpentine. Due to its undisturbed nature, it forms a significant wildlife habitat and is designated as a bird sanctuary.[12] A 2005 survey showed it as home to 90 species of moth alone.[13] On the western bank of the Long Water, deliberately hidden in foliage, is a bronze sculpture of Peter Pan by George Frampton.[14] The "real world" elements of the play and novel were set in the park and in the surrounding streets. This article is about the play by J.M. Barrie. ... Sir George Frampton(1860-1928) was a notable British sculptor and leading member of the New Sculpture movement. ...

Lansbury's Lido
Lansbury's Lido

Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (3264 × 2448 pixel, file size: 2. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (3264 × 2448 pixel, file size: 2. ...

The Serpentine

Recreation

Swimming

A rectangular swimming area on the southern bank was opened in 1930. It is known as Lansbury's Lido, and is partitioned off from the rest of the lake by a perimeter of buoys.[2] There is a fee for entering the lido, and changing rooms are available. It is now normally open only in the summer, typically between 10:00 and 17:30. George Lansbury (21 February 1859 – 7 May 1940) was a British politician, socialist, Christian pacifist and newspaper editor. ...


The Serpentine will be used for the swimming leg of the triathlon at the London 2012 Olympics.[7] “London 2012” redirects here. ...

Wicker elephants on the banks of the Serpentine, part of the 2007 "Trunks Meet Trunks" event.
Wicker elephants on the banks of the Serpentine, part of the 2007 "Trunks Meet Trunks" event.

Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 427 pixelsFull resolution (3264 × 1744 pixel, file size: 2. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 427 pixelsFull resolution (3264 × 1744 pixel, file size: 2. ...

The Peter Pan Cup

Since 1864, the Serpentine has hosted a 100 yard (91.4 m) swimming competition every Christmas morning at 9 am. In 1904, author J. M. Barrie awarded the Peter Pan Cup to the winner of the race, a tradition which has continued ever since. Due to the hazards of swimming in frozen water, the race is open only to members of the Serpentine Swimming Club.[15] For other uses, see Christmas (disambiguation). ... For the British Army surgeon, see James Barry (surgeon). ...


Boating

Rowing boats are available for hire. In 2002, the Serpentine hosted the World Rowing Sprints, in which several international crews raced over 547 yards (500 m). no The Fédération Internationale des Sociétés dAviron, or FISA for short, is the International Rowing Federation which is the governing body for international rowing. ...

The Solarshuttle, moored in front of Hyde Park Barracks
The Solarshuttle, moored in front of Hyde Park Barracks

Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 586 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (2448 × 2503 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 586 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (2448 × 2503 pixel, file size: 1. ... The officers quarters at Knightsbridge Barracks (as the Hyde Park Barracks was then known) in 1880. ...

The Solarshuttle

In the summer months, the Solarshuttle solar powered boat ferries passengers between the northern and southern banks of the Serpentine. At 48 feet (14 m) long and carrying 42 passengers, it is the largest wholly solar powered passenger boat currently operating in the UK.[16] Solar power describes a number of methods of harnessing energy from the light of the sun. ...


Landmarks

Hyde Park by Camille Pissarro, 1890, showing the footpath along the southern bank of the Serpentine
Hyde Park by Camille Pissarro, 1890, showing the footpath along the southern bank of the Serpentine

London's Holocaust Memorial is situated at the eastern end of the Serpentine, immediately beyond the dam, and a memorial on the northern shore of the lake commemorates the Norwegian Defence Forces' role in World War II. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The garden of Pontoise, painted 1875. ... Holocaust Memorial for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania by David Ascalon (1994). ... Ranks Norwegian military ranks The Norwegian Defence Forces (Norwegian: Forsvaret) numbers about 60,000 personnel, including civilian employees. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...


The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain is sited on the southern shore of the Serpentine near West Carriage Drive. It currently receives approximately one million visitors per year.[17] The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain is a memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales. ...


Ranger's Lodge, immediately to the north of the lake, was the former head office of the Royal Parks Constabulary. Following the RPC's abolition in 2004, it is now the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service's Royal Parks Operational Command Unit, although as with the rest of the MPS, command and control of day-to-day incidents has been centralised to the Metcall complex. The Royal Parks Constabulary (RPC) is the police force formerly responsible for the Royal Parks in London and a number of other locations in Greater London, England and Edinburgh, Scotland; it now only exists in Scotland as part of Historic Scotland. ... The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is the name currently used by the territorial police force which is responsible for Greater London other than the City of London (the responsibility of the City of London Police). ... A Basic Command Unit (BCU) is the largest unit into which territorial British Police forces are divided. ... Metcall (commonly but incorrectly known as The C3i Programme) is an ongoing project to completely restructure the communications structure of Londons Metropolitan Police Service. ...


The Serpentine Gallery, one of London's leading art galleries, is not in fact located on the Serpentine, but in Kensington Gardens, on the western side of West Carriage Drive immediately south of the Long Water. The Serpentine Gallery is an art gallery in Kensington Gardens, central London, which focuses on modern and contempory art. ...


The Rose Gardens at the southeastern corner of the Serpentine have in recent years become a popular meeting place for London's gay community.[18] It has been alleged that their popularity as a cottaging location is due to their proximity to Hyde Park Barracks.[14] GAY can mean: Gay, a term referring to homosexual men or women The IATA code for Gaya Airport Category: ... This article is about the sexual behavior. ... The officers quarters at Knightsbridge Barracks (as the Hyde Park Barracks was then known) in 1880. ...


Image gallery

External links

References

  1. ^ Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens Stroll. Urban75 (2006-11). Retrieved on 2007-09-11.
  2. ^ a b c Hyde Park History & Architecture. The Royal Parks (2007). Retrieved on 2007-09-05.
  3. ^ Kensington Gardens - The Queen's gardens. Royal Parks Authority. Retrieved on 2007-09-11.
  4. ^ a b c d Hyde Park: Park of Pleasure. The Royal Parks (2007). Retrieved on 2007-09-05.
  5. ^ Ford, David Nash (2005). Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822). Royal Berkshire History. Retrieved on 2007-09-05.
  6. ^ Harriet Shelley. University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved on 2007-09-05.
  7. ^ a b Henry, Connie. Where the Olympic Events Would Take Place. BBC. Retrieved on 2007-09-05.
  8. ^ Banister, Len (2007-08-14), "Princess Diana memorial walk", Guardian Series News, <http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/leisure/walks/display.var.1617624.0.princess_diana_memorial_walk_seven_miles_part_two.php>
  9. ^ Fraser Harris, Professor D. Edward Jenner and Vaccination. World Wide School. Retrieved on 2007-09-11.
  10. ^ Huntley, J. "Putting Jenner back in his place". The Lancet 362 (9399): 1942. Retrieved on 2007-09-11. 
  11. ^ The Inaugural Romantic Science Day-School. Bristol University (2007). Retrieved on 2007-09-11.
  12. ^ Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Greater London Authority (2007). Retrieved on 2007-09-11.
  13. ^ Reeve, Dr Nigel (2006-10-09). Managing for Biodiversity in London’s Royal Parks. Gresham College. Retrieved on 2007-09-11.
  14. ^ a b Gill, A.A. (2007-08-19), "Summer in the city: Hyde Park", The Times, <http://travel.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/travel/destinations/england/article2264820.ece>
  15. ^ The Peter Pan Cup Christmas Morning Handicap Swim. Serpentine Swimming Club. Retrieved on 2007-09-05.
  16. ^ Serpentine solar boat to set sail. BBC News (2006-07-18). Retrieved on 2007-09-05.
  17. ^ Hyde Park. Greater London Authority. Retrieved on 2007-09-05.
  18. ^ Police Help Park Cruisers. Rainbow Network (2007-08-16). Retrieved on 2007-09-02.

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