Regents Park Property, History & Transport
Regent’s Park may be the world’s first garden city, with its informal landscaping, villas and the way houses are grouped into terraces that look like palaces.
The park, originally known as Marylebone Park, was laid out for Henry VIII as a hunting ground. In 1812 the architect John Nash was brought in by the Prince Regent, later King George IV, to develop it.
Nash’s plan was revolutionary. He envisaged a complete new community, with nobles living in villas at the centre, the professional classes in the terraces round the park and lesser folks in humbler dwellings to the east. He even provided a market to supply the houses with food and other essentials. A new canal, the high-speed travel of its day, skirted the north.
The vision was never entirely completed, and a palace for the Prince was never even started, and in the following centuries the nobility moved out and learned institutions such as the Zoological Society of London moved in – the London Zoo is still a major tourist attraction.
The grand terraces have always been popular with literary types. Wilkie Collins, the first horror novelist, lived at 17 Hanover Terrace and HG Wells lived at No 13 during the Blitz, when he painted a giant 13 on the house to show what he thought of superstition.